CCIWA acknowledges the passing of our longest-serving head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, and notes a National Day of Mourning has been declared for September 22 in honour of her passing.
Update: Tuesday, September 13
The State Government will apply normal public holiday trading hours for the one-off National Public Holiday on September 22.
General retail shops in the Perth metropolitan area will be able to trade between 11:00am and 5:00pm, as part of the standard public holiday trading hours.
The retail trading hours for the one-off National Public Holiday are in accordance with the Retail Trading Hours Act 1987 (WA).
Normal retail trading hours of 8:00am to 9:00pm will return on Friday, September 23. Extended public holiday retail trading hours of 8:00am to 6:00pm will apply for the annual Queen’s Birthday (WA) Public Holiday on Monday, September 26 as already gazetted earlier this year.
General retail shops in regional WA are ordinarily closed on public holidays, unless the local government authority has previously applied for an extension to their trading hours.
If traders in the regions want to open and do not have an existing variation order, they can apply to the Commissioner for Consumer Protection through their local government authority. For Consumer Protection enquiries call (08) 6251 2466.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may or may not be required to close for the day; or you may choose to do so if you’d otherwise trade on regular public holidays.
We stand ready to provide advice and guidance regarding your responsibilities to staff, as you adapt to these unusual circumstances.
It’s also important to note that we’re seeking urgent advice from the State Government on what kind of public holiday the day of mourning will be.
The key issue is whether the public holiday will be one like Anzac Day, where there are very broad trading restrictions for most businesses, or a ‘normal’ public holiday where only certain restrictions apply.
We expect the situation for office-based, part-time and full-time salaried employees will be as simple as any other public holiday — an employee who would usually work that day is entitled to take the day off without loss of pay.
Unexpected penalty rates likely
But many other businesses, notably hospitality venues, security services and the like, are facing the sudden need to either lose a day’s trading or having to pay high and unexpected penalty rates on what would have otherwise been a regular weekday.
We expect both State and Federal Governments will provide more detailed information regarding employers’ responsibilities in the very near future.
Earlier today, CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell told the Australian Financial Review that the holiday “acknowledges the importance of taking a day to reflect on and honour the life and contribution of Queen Elizabeth II as our former Head of State.”
“It’s also important to recognise the concerns reflected by a range of WA businesses regarding the public holiday, noting it will impose higher costs and disruption which ultimately they will need to bear.
“CCIWA is urging the State Government to provide the option to businesses to trade on the public holiday and not to ban trade.
“While for some it will be non-commercial to open because of the higher penalty rate costs, providing the choice is important.
“Businesses will have limited time to adapt and plan and little recourse to recover their costs, whether it’s calling in more stock to deal with the added flow of customers, having to cancel bookings if they now need to look after their school-age kids.”