TCCI, union clash on holiday

TOMORROW'S Easter Tuesday bank holiday has been labelled ``confusing'' and ``out of touch'' by the state's peak business body, but the public sector union has deemed it an essential break.

State government offices, libraries, local government offices and courts stay closed tomorrow, but for most other services it is business as usual. 

Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey said there was confusion in the community as to what was open and what was not.

``It's a holiday that is out of date and out of touch,'' Mr Bailey said.

``For 90 per cent of people it's just another working day,'' he said.

Unlike today, Easter Tuesday is not classed as a statutory holiday under the Statutory Holidays Act, and only applies to public sector employees, unless employment agreements specify otherwise. 

Mr Bailey said there were businesses that relied on direct access to banks that wanted to open but could not because of the holiday.

``It's a bizarre holiday,'' he said.

Mr Bailey said the TCCI was open, but could not access government departments. 

``The state service should be open,'' he said.

``It seems crazy and we need to have a discussion about whether it's kept.''

Mr Bailey said if Easter Tuesday was made an official public holiday under the law in an effort to remove the confusion there would need to be a discussion about whether the state could afford another public holiday.

Community and Public Sector Union secretary Tom Lynch said the bank holiday was important.

``The more time people have for a work-life balance, the better,'' Mr Lynch said.

Mr Lynch said with the amount of hours people were working per week it was a vital break.

``It's incredibly important and we'd fight to maintain it,'' he said.

A spokeswoman for the government said there were no plans to abolish the bank holiday.

Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey


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