Penalty rates help lessen the blow of spending time away from the family says a Wagga resident whose wife works weekends.
Stephen Cook said a proposal to cut back back penalty rates would remove the incentive to work those days.
"My wife misses so many things because of her working hours, cutting (penalty rates) back is an insult,” Mr Cook said.
"The community has come to expect that cafes and shops are open on the weekend, but we shouldn't use that as an argument that weekends are the same as weekdays.
"Most people working on weekends are not on significant hourly rates anyway but the penalty rates help make it viable," he said.
Mr Cook said the majority of businesses and schools operated Monday to Friday, with society structured around two days of rest.
With four public holidays this weekend, the Wagga Business Chamber has said some staff will be receiving up to double time and a half.
Business manager Michelle Bray said some businesses may not be open during the Easter weekend because of the cost of staff.
"When that happens either businesses don't open which affects unemployment and they're less likely to hire someone or provide casual work,” she said.
However not every business has the luxury of being able to close.
"People who work in shopping centres may have to stay open because of contract agreements and face running at a loss because of the cost of employment.
"We would love to see small business become more profitable so they can hire more staff and be a viable going concern, while attaining a happy medium for themselves and also their employees,” she said.
The Wagga Business Chamber has joined the campaign on “excessive penalty rates” started by the NSW Business Chamber.
NSW chamber regional manager Ben Foley said the four public holidays added to the pressure faced by small business owners.
“Businesses across our region have access to posters to put up in their shop windows – apologising to customers for being closed, or explaining that, while they are open, they are leaning on family members to help serve customers,” Mr Foley said.
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