Working in retail or fast food over Easter? Read this.

Protecting public holidays for retail and fast food workers

The SDA has a long history of protecting public holidays for retail and fast food workers.

We believe public holidays should be for everyone – not just some.

Public holidays are a rare opportunity to take a day off to enjoy with friends and family and they should remain that way.

That’s why the SDA protects them and ensures that when it comes to work, you have rights on public holidays.


The vast majority of SDA members in retail and fast food are covered by SDA-negotiated Agreements.

These agreements have secured voluntary work on public holidays which means you have a right to take time off on all public holidays.


If you are rostered on and choose to work on a public holiday you should be compensated with penalty rates.

The majority of SDA members receive a penalty rate of between 200% to 250% for working on public holidays.

This is only fair as you’re giving up a day that everyone else in the community gets to take off. If you’re at work to serve others enjoying a day off, whether it’s at the check-out or the drive-thru, then you deserve higher rates of pay.

However, a recent Fair Work Commission decision to reduce penalty rates for working in retail, fast food and pharmacy on public holidays means this could change in the future. Join our campaign to stop penalty rate cuts at


We value the idea of work to live not live to work.

The SDA has worked hard to protect public holidays for retail, fast food and warehousing workers, and this includes changing legislation to reflect important days. For example, Easter Sunday only recently has been made a Public Holiday in some States (the first in 2011). This important advance in several States/Territories only occurred after the SDA had run strong campaigns to achieve this.

Now, thanks to the SDA, Easter Sunday is now a public holiday in NSW/ACT, Victoria and Queensland.

Questions about your public holidays entitlements?

If you have any questions about what you’re entitled to on public holidays, contact your local Branch of the SDA who will be able to provide you specific advice.

Not an SDA member? Join today!

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