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How SMEs Can Avoid Long Weekend Headaches This Easter

Published April 4, 2023 (last updated on June 6, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Content Writer


April usually means two short work weeks with Good Friday and Easter being at the end of one week and the beginning of another. While employees eagerly watch the clock for 5pm this Thursday, employers, especially those in the retail, hairdressing and hospitality industries across the country are left grappling with the worry of public holiday entitlements and spike in absenteeism. Over-crowded stores with shoppers trying to stock up for a weekend of celebrations with busy and often stressed-out staff doing their absolute best to maintain stress levels at a minimum while serving with a smile is the norm.

The next few days can often be the make or break for some businesses. However, with the cost-of-living crisis on the cards, how can small businesses prepare for the long weekend?

Stephen Roebuck, Associate Director from Peninsula commented, “The retail and hospitality industries are unfortunately still struggling with chronic labour shortages. There are over [1]40,300 job vacancies within the retail sector and small businesses are forced to operate at reduced hours due to staff shortage. The holiday season can be challenging and complicated for employers, especially with managing the peak season rush your business.”

 “If that wasn’t stressful enough, employers must also manage employee leave requests and understand public holiday entitlements. Business owners must make smart choices and plan for the holidays and ensure a smooth business continuity process is in place over the long weekend.”

“For retail, hospitality, and hair and beauty, the long weekend means increased sales, peak traffic, and busy staff schedules. However, employers need to be mindful that small businesses are now competing in a highly fragmented market for both consumers and employees. It is an absolute must that business owners support their employees in any way they can. Create realistic schedules for employees and remember to allocate additional breaks.”

Stephen further commented, “Small business owners are juggling different roles and responsibilities. They often act as the manager, HR person, mentor, and cheerleader for their employees. They wear many hats and play several roles within the business. With the long weekend on its way, employers must be well-versed with employee entitlements, leave management, and duty of care. They cannot afford to be negligent or ignorant on these issues as the consequences are far too costly for any small business owner. Peninsula has released [2]resources specifically tailored to support business owners with their obligations over the public holiday period. We are here to help employers, so they don’t have to shoulder the burden alone.”

[1] Retail job vacancies surge to 40,300 as labour shortages cripple the industry | Australian Retailers Association

[2] Your Guide to Public Holidays | Peninsula

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