New public holiday’s late announcement angers businesses

Main Stories, National

The National, Wednesday 22nd August 2012

A NEW national holiday to fall next Monday has raised the ire of businesses throughout the country.
The Port Moresby Chamber has been inundated with complaints and comments on  the late notification of a new public holiday – National Covenant Day on Monday Aug 27.
Chamber CEO Dave Conn said:  “Members are clearly not happy and vented their anger in response to our notice to them on Tuesday.
“Naturally, we accept it is the prerogative of  government to declare holidays  but such late notice  is normally only reserved for  cases of national celebration or mourning.
“I guess you could say repentance is a case of the latter, and not the former, but it is still too late.”
He said most businesses work to rigid pre-planned schedules, especially those in manufacturing and this sort of late notices required that they either shut down or  keep on working.
“If workers agree and do not demand their holiday then businesses are faced with paying double time.
“This is a significant cost to business, never mind the inconvenience,” Conn said.
One company said it had to keep operating so will face extra wages for their 1,300 employees.
“You cannot plan for this sort of contingency.
“Government needs to be fair to business and do this better,” Conn said.
“This was the second year in a row we have had this confusion around this particular holiday.
“What is so hard about getting back to previous well-planned public holiday gazettes announced near the end of the year for the forthcoming year and sticking to it?
“It is hard to run a business in PNG with this sort of ad hoc planning.”