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A modest proposal on public holidays [With poll]

By johnboy - 30 April 2012 89

Let’s get with the program people. It’s 2012 and we’re not all white anglo saxon protestants around here trooping of to church every Sunday and observing the Sabbath.

Why should the Christians get all the holidays while Diwali, Hanukkah, Lunar new year, the Eid ul fitr, Nowruz, or Kwaanza are not?

To say nothing of the massive embuggerance to pretty much everyone of shutting the whole country down while we’re all forced to take a day off most at any given moment don’t give a damn about.

Not to mention the high farce in Canberra of “Family and Community Day” the holiday to replace the trade unionists picnic day which we can’t even find anything concrete to commemorate so we farm it out to warm fuzzies.

But the solution, for my money, isn’t to foist more command and control down from above.

Rather let’s empower individual choice.

What would you think dear reader if you were able to designate ten days a year on your calendar as significant to you and if your employer wants you to come in on those days they pay triple time?

Public holidays

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89 Responses to
A modest proposal on public holidays [With poll]
Keijidosha 1:17 pm 30 Apr 12

I think this is a great idea. Personally I’d choose the 10 days that would cause greatest incovenience to coworkers I don’t like, and invent colourfully inappropriate names to mark each holiday.

Mysteryman 1:17 pm 30 Apr 12

This country was founded by people claiming to be of Christian beliefs/ideals, like it or not. Those ideals have been upheld through our relatively short history by both government and the general public, and played a very large part in influencing a great many aspects of our society, including our public holidays. You don’t like it? That’s ok. You are entitled to your opinion. But I think you’ll find that you are in the minority.

johnboy 1:15 pm 30 Apr 12

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Is there a specific reason for this topic? The tone of your story seems kinda angry.

You don’t see that the current system is

a) ludicrous
b) deeply unfair to large sections of the community
c) bloody awful for anyone trying to get anything serious done

?

johnboy 1:13 pm 30 Apr 12

trevar said :

I’ve thought the same way for a long time, but there are a few relatively decent-sized snags…

Administering your idea would be a bit bureaucratic for the average small business owner. This essentially amounts to an additional two and a bit weeks annual leave, so it would be better to ditch the notion of ‘public holidays’ altogether and increase annual leave provision to six weeks in its place.

But if every individual in a particular workplace does want to observe ANZAC Day, for instance, but ANZAC Day is not a public holiday, it does create some difficulties for employers in terms of keeping the place open when all staff have an ‘expectation’ of being able to commemorate a day of great cultural significance (even if the tradition is “honoured more in the breach than the observance”, as ANZAC Day is).

And if you maintain a few big ones, how do you reasonably determine which ones to maintain? Even while acknowledging that the religious observances are different for different people, other commenters have nonetheless suggested we maintain those specific dates that are significant only for Christians and Pagans.

And for casual and shift workers, it would be a significant inconvenience as there could be no way of compensating for the loss of penalty rates.

I like the idea, but it needs more work to achieve multicultural utopia!

Well, firstly I would do away with all other public holidays as a day off (the government can sponsor whatever commemoration is politic at the time)

And admin would be no more difficult than coordinating annual leave is now. Also note tripletime for those asked to work on their designated holidays covers casuals.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 1:12 pm 30 Apr 12

johnboy said :

Because the phases of the moon in relation to a 2 millennia ago event held sacred by a faith you don’t even follow is the rational basis for your work life?

Is there a specific reason for this topic? The tone of your story seems kinda angry.

trevar 1:08 pm 30 Apr 12

I’ve thought the same way for a long time, but there are a few relatively decent-sized snags…

Administering your idea would be a bit bureaucratic for the average small business owner. This essentially amounts to an additional two and a bit weeks annual leave, so it would be better to ditch the notion of ‘public holidays’ altogether and increase annual leave provision to six weeks in its place.

But if every individual in a particular workplace does want to observe ANZAC Day, for instance, but ANZAC Day is not a public holiday, it does create some difficulties for employers in terms of keeping the place open when all staff have an ‘expectation’ of being able to commemorate a day of great cultural significance (even if the tradition is “honoured more in the breach than the observance”, as ANZAC Day is).

And if you maintain a few big ones, how do you reasonably determine which ones to maintain? Even while acknowledging that the religious observances are different for different people, other commenters have nonetheless suggested we maintain those specific dates that are significant only for Christians and Pagans.

And for casual and shift workers, it would be a significant inconvenience as there could be no way of compensating for the loss of penalty rates.

I like the idea, but it needs more work to achieve multicultural utopia!

CitizenK 12:54 pm 30 Apr 12

Totally agree JB that the christians amongst us are more catered for than other religions and beliefs.

Let’s even it up.

madscientist 12:50 pm 30 Apr 12

Personally I like the idea, but I can see how it wouldn’t work for families.

A lot of public holidays allow families to spend time together as both the parents and children have the day off (mostly) – and the higher rates of pay on public holidays allow somewhat for greater inconvenience to parents who have to work.

There’s a bit of a problem in as much as parents then would need to pull the kids out of school on the days they had nominated, if it was to be a ‘family day’.

Of course, I suppose parents could also nominate days for their ‘public holidays’ during the school holidays, but I’d imagine this would give a pretty serious exodus of child-wielding employees from some businesses during school holidays – especially when that is combined with annual leave.

Not sayin’ I don’t like the idea myself, but I can see arguments against it.

johnboy 12:43 pm 30 Apr 12

Yeah, because everyone forced to bugger up their lives over christmas when they wish they could have the Eid off are really being included in the community.

poetix 12:37 pm 30 Apr 12

No, no, no, no. At least the fact we all have the same days off means that there is some remaining notion of community. Even if we spend those days getting away from each other as quickly as possible. I agree with you about the lameness of the Family and Community Day, which they may as well have called Motherhood Day. Oh wait, we have one of those. And it’s coming up soon.

Love the totally neutral poll too!

johnboy 12:16 pm 30 Apr 12

Merle said :

Most public holidays don’t hold any emotional or spiritual significance to the majority of the population, it’s true. That doesn’t mean there aren’t practical reasons for public holidays being set dates, as buzz819 pointed out.

And those practical reasons are? Putting everyone on the road to the coast on the same weekend?

Madam Cholet 12:15 pm 30 Apr 12

JB, I like it. As a Brit who has been living happily in this country for longer than I now care to remember, I still find the Queens birthday holiday amusing, (doesn’t exist in the UK), as well as the bunched up way that they happen around the beginning of the year. And don’t get me started on Family & Community services day…the holiday they gave to show who’s boss and then couldn’t take back when it was declared a dud.

The UK this year has 9 days and this includes the Diamond Jubilee freebie that wouldn’t ordinarily happen. This year in Canberra there will be 12 all up, 13 if you include the Sunday that was also made a public holiday.

I would probably keep Easter in there and obviously Xmas, but other than that – let the proletariat decide how they wish to spend the remainder. Wouldn’t include Anzac day as it’s just become a drink fest without much respect paid to what it’s actually for. There sn’t a universal day off for Rememberance day in the UK – it’s on a Sunday, shock horror. There is no Anzac Day equivalent.

It would also assist with the issue of having to pay double time rates for casual workers who choose or have to work on public holidays. If only a handful of dates are officially public holidays then it reduces the cost to business. And it should be “use it or lose it”.

I’m sure I’ve offended someone with that last statement.

Merle 12:05 pm 30 Apr 12

Most public holidays don’t hold any emotional or spiritual significance to the majority of the population, it’s true. That doesn’t mean there aren’t practical reasons for public holidays being set dates, as buzz819 pointed out.

johnboy 11:48 am 30 Apr 12

Because the phases of the moon in relation to a 2 millennia ago event held sacred by a faith you don’t even follow is the rational basis for your work life?

buzz819 11:43 am 30 Apr 12

No, I don’t like it.

Working where I do, one of the only perks is actually working a public holiday. You start messing around with “Your own holidays” and the work place will find another way to screw you out of double time, not a good idea really.

All you are really asking for is 10 more rdo’s, then the loss of pay for already gazetted public holidays.

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