Gold Coast restaurant group calls for workers to be tax exempt for serving on public holidays

THE head of the Gold Coast’s leading restaurant industry association has called for a radical shake-up of the country’s tax laws ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

President of the Restaurant Industry Support Group Gold Coast, Glen Day, wants to see the Federal Government exempt restaurant workers from tax when they work public holidays.

Mr Day said the proposal would give employees a bonus for working on a Public Holiday and would take the tax liability away from the employer.

He said the proposal was not about scrapping penalty rates.

“They are there for a reason,” he said.

“But there are only 10-12 public holidays a year where all Australians enjoy a day off but restaurant employees are always working these special days.

“I’m sure all Australians would like to show their appreciation to these employees who have always had to work on public holidays while the rest of Australia enjoys a day of celebration with family and friends — especially dining out.”

Mr Day said the move would allow more businesses to be operational on the public holidays due to the reduction in pay-as-you-go income tax.

“This would leave them with more funds so they could employ more people and create more jobs, and it would increase their employees take home pay giving them more disposable income to spend in retail, hospitality and so on.

“It will be a flow-on effect. I’m sure this would pass the pub test and I’m sure all Australians would see this as a reward and a way to show their appreciation to the employees of the restaurant industry.”

He said due to the penalty rates many businesses found it not viable to open on public holidays.

“Living on the Gold Coast and with the upcoming Commonwealth Games being held over the Easter long weekend with many public holidays over this time, this would guarantee the Gold Coast as an international city and open for business.

“We want to start the conversation, but I reckon any party that bought it in would get the vote from the common people.”

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