The National Retail Association (NRA) has expressed its disappointment in the Queensland Government's decision to introduce a part-public holiday on Christmas Eve. 

The bill, which passed on November 27, sees all work in Queensland done after 6pm on Christmas Eve treated as a public holiday. 

NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said that small businesses will be hurt most by this legislation. 

"The retailers who will be hurt most by this are not large multi-nationals, but mum-and-dad small business owners who work ridiculous hours just to make ends meet. 

"These small retail outlets also rely on the Christmas trade period to support their operation during more lean times of the year.

"For employers who had planned on trading on Christmas Eve past 6:00pm, their full-time and part-time employees are now entitled to be absent from work if they were going to be rostered past this time.

"Employers will be required to go cap in hand to ask workers to work. In many cases, they will find it is simply too hard or too expensive to keep their doors open.

"So this will be a very disappointing outcome for those small businesses and for their employees who want to work in businesses that now decide to close their doors," she said. 

In a statement the Palaszczuk Government said that Christmas Eve is becoming increasingly important for families.

"The night before Christmas is as important to families as the day itself," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"It’s a very special time for family and friends as well as communities and churches to come together.

"Many Queenslanders though, do have to work Christmas Eve and the change would ensure proper compensation for them," Palaszczuk said.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the proposal had attracted strong community support during public consultation.

"Of the 1779 submissions received during the public consultation period, 1271 or 71% were in favour of creating the public holiday," Grace said.

"We received submissions from retail workers, bus drivers, mothers and religious leaders, just to name a few, who wrote of the ever-growing importance of Christmas Eve as a special time for family and friends to come together and celebrate the season and the need to properly compensate those who were required to work.

"The Palaszczuk Governments strongly agrees with them. The night before Christmas is as important to families as the day itself.

"Making it a public holiday will give those who have to work, like essential services staff, retail workers and shop employees, better pay for doing so," she said. 

Grace said 508 submissions or 29% of the total received opposed the proposal.

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