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Submission on the Review of the Holidays Act 2003

Summary

  • The right to rest has ancient roots based in the Sabbath traditions of a collective break from work for religious practice, family time and rest.
  • The Catholic Church continues to seek holidays which recognise the value of collective opportunities for rest, celebration and connection with families and wider community. We do not accept this is merely a matter for individual preference or the convenience of particular commercial activities.
  • Easter, Christmas and ANZAC day are the remaining collective holidays which take place mostly in the absence of shop trading. These days have gained significance for family and community rest time well beyond their religious observance.
  • The Catholic Church recognises legal holidays for religious feast days as being a matter of religious liberty and the common good of all. We therefore strongly support and recognise the right of religious groups of all faiths to seek ways of improving their ability to take time off for religious observance and holy days.
  • We do not believe that changing entitlements to leave at Easter and Christmas is the best way of achieving this. We would like the Review Group to find ways of doing this which do not affect current holidays provided for at Easter and Christmas.

See also the 2006 and 2008 submissions on Easter Trading.

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