Opinion: It just doesn’t make cents not to open

TO open or close during the Christmas-New Year period, that is the question for businesses.

If you are a restaurant, cafe or bakery I think you'd be mad not to.

And before I get howled down by the 'penalty rates are too high' people, let me explain.

With tourists falling over themselves to find places to eat after Christmas Day it should be a licence to print money.

You have to open up when you know loads of people are looking for somewhere to go and, in Australia, that is the Christmas-New Year period when practically everyone is on holidays.

Sheer volume should be enough to get you past any increase in penalty rates and if not, do what a lot of food outlets do and post a surcharge for public holidays to cover for the extra wages.

When you have got teenagers working for fast food outlets earning $9 an hour, it is a bit rich to whine you may have to pay $13.50 an hour or $18 an hour when it is covered by a surcharge anyway.

You must also remember that for full-time workers or permanent part-timers, any cut to penalty rates on a Sunday would impact on their take home pay.

But I can see no harm in simply making Saturday and Sunday penalty rates the same or lifting the overall minimum hourly rate by a dollar or more so they are not disadvantaged by this.

Some towns like Byron Bay, Brunswick and Lennox Head already cater well for tourists, but when you drive though others and they are shut with hungry people milling around it doesn't add up.



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