Penalty count too high on ‘Football Friday’

Ask almost any Victorian business and they will tell you the State Government’s decision to introduce two new public holidays is simply dumb.

And this is especially so for ‘Football Friday’, which the Government has announced for the day prior to the AFL Grand Final.

I speak to lots of members of Ai Group and have been involved with many member meetings. This is the issue causing them the greatest angst. In my discussions, not one business has supported the Government’s decision.

One exporter told me the cost to his company of not working on ‘Football Friday’ will be around $125,000. Other employers have simply said it’s a cost they will have to bear but which their competitors interstate and overseas are not paying.

Victoria now has 13 public holidays per annum. Queensland has 10. You can work out the sums. It leaves Victorian businesses in a less competitive position.

Ai Group has expressed its views to the Premier, the Treasurer and numerous Ministers. The Government is in no doubt about our position, nor how our members are feeling.

We ask the State Government to reconsider this public holiday, even if it means moving a current public holiday to ‘Football Friday’.

What impact will these additional public holidays have on your business? Share your thoughts below.

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Tim Piper
Tim Piper has been Ai Group's Director in Victoria since 2002. Prior to joining Ai Group he spent five years as Executive Director at the Australian Retailers Association Victoria. He also worked for five years as Legal Affairs Manager at Confectionery Manufacturers of Australasia – an industry he continues to support as Ai Group's Principal Advocate for the Confectionery Sector.
Tim Piper

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  1. Geoff Holland

    The direct cost to us will be a touch over $ 8000. Not to mention what it will cost the state for all those government employees who are rostered to work that day and now I assume will be paid double time and a half.
    Whilst this year it would be offset by Anzac day not being a public holiday, it will become an entitlement that will endure forever. When was the last time an opposition went to the polls and promised to repeal a public holiday? And won ? My previous attempt to outsource design services overseas is once again on the agenda at the expense of local employment.

  2. Graham Evans

    I think the report is mis-leading, NSW, ACT both have 12 Public Holidays and WA 11. Victoria currently has 13 if Anzac falls on a week day.

    If Victorian business are solely reliant on working less public holidays than the rest of the Australian states to remain competitive then there is a bigger underlying problem than this.

    How many ‘extra’ hours do employees work over and above their contracts, the use of smart phones to read emails and take business calls in the evening or at weekends – all expected by employers as part of the modern working arrangements. Giving something back to the employee is not a bad thing, these people are your greatest assets!

    1. Tim PiperTim Piper (Post author)

      Thanks for your comment Graham,
      No doubt employees are our greatest asset. But to remain competitive we cannot continue to unreasonably increase wages. Another two public holidays causes an unfortunate increase in costs.

  3. Leigh Penberthy

    As a National Business located in Melbourne we are already at a disadvantage as against other states given we have a higher number of state based public holidays. We need to have staff working these ‘public holidays’ days as we need to cater for our clients interstate. These days come at a significant cost to us in terms of additional salary but it is the productivity that’s lost through this that concerns me most.
    The past two years has been extremely tough for our business and industry and we have worked hard to keep our business going and the overall industry alive. What we don’t want or need right now is for Governments to be rolling over to placate the few which places the many in harms way or at risk.

    1. Tim PiperTim Piper (Post author)

      Dear Leigh,

      Your comments are very pertinent and, particularly, with a national organisation such as yours you simply must have staff available in Victoria. It’s costly. We’ll make sure the Government knows this point as well.

  4. Mark Hardman

    As an owner and Manager of three companies I know first hand the cost of these extra public holidays will be jobs.
    Government tries to tell us we are on a level playing field with overseas companies, open your eyes.
    I have been thinking about moving production to Thailand for a few years so we can level out the playing field.
    Government decisions like these are pushing manufacturers out of Australia.
    As the taxes dry up from mining and all the manufacturing disappears the government will start borrowing greater amounts of money until China takes us over with a bail out.

    1. Tim PiperTim Piper (Post author)

      Dear Mark,

      Thanks for your comment. It is certainly one we have mentioned to the Government as we know companies are giving consideration to their future manufacturing sites. Your comment will be passed onto Government.


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