Easter Sunday could be stripped of its public holiday status under possible changes to holiday laws.
The majority of respondents to a State Government options paper on the century-old Holidays Act 1910 say Easter Sunday should no longer be prescribed a public holiday.
But church leaders fear the day will lose its significance if it is treated like any other Sunday, and that more people could be made to work on that day, without proper compensation.
Twenty-one of the 41 employer, retail, union and business groups that responded to the government options paper do not want the day designated a public holiday.
Many are opposed to paying extra penalty rates.
Every Sunday of the year is now designated a public holiday but the Government has put forward an option to reverse this, bringing SA into line with other states.
Doing so would create the need to prescribe Easter Sunday as a public holiday in its own right to retain its status.
Anglican Archbishop Jeffrey Driver said it "would be a sad loss to Australian society if we set aside the special nature of Easter Day" because many Australians "still profess allegiance to the Christian faith".
Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson said he would not like Easter Sunday "to be seen as the same as any other day of the week" and called on employers, unions and the Government to remember that Easter Sunday would "always be a most sacred day for Christians".
Lutheran Church SA/NT president David Altus agreed. "Given the number of Australians who do observe Good Friday and Easter as Christians, including attendance at worship, I believe it is important that they have the freedom to do so without the conflict of being expected to work on those days," he said.
NSW is the only state to specifically recognise Easter Sunday as a public holiday.
Industrial Relations Minister Russell Wortley said the Government had "no fixed position" on any of the options being canvassed as part of community consultation.
The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employee's Union wanted Easter Sunday kept a public holiday; Business SA and retailers like Myer and Coles were opposed.
Article from: news.com.au