BUSINESS: Mother Of All Weekends
Recent Western Cape Business News
The Cape Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the likely impact of the 11-day ‘mother of all long weekends” at the end of April this year and the inevitable loss of productivity in most spheres of business.
The unexpected holiday period starts when schools close from Good Friday (April 22) to Worker’s Day (May 2).
Schools started early this year to enable them to take off the working days between the Easter and Worker’s Day weekends and enjoy the 11-day break.
Michael Bagraim, President of the Chamber, says this will prompt many employees to take three days of annual leave and be absent from work for 11 straight days. Many people, especially women, will have to take the leave to look after children.
“There might be good educational reasons to improve continuity by bridging the gap between public holidays, but the arrangement will have an impact on business. It will be more difficult to get things done during this period. Deliveries will be affected and some businesses in the retail, leisure, agricultural, industrial or service sectors will simply have to keep going even if workers have to be paid overtime rates. This means that productivity will be reduced while costs go up,” he said.
Even when no annual leave days were taken, businesses would have to pay a full month’s salary for just16 days of work in April.
Bagraim said there was a need for a thorough investigation of public holidays, the number of holidays and the practice of creating extra holidays on a Monday or Friday to replace holidays which fell during a weekend.
“If we want to make this country more productive and competitive in the global market place we will have to deal with this issue,” he said.
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