Expect to pay up to 15% extra on Easter Sunday

DINERS will be slugged up to 15% extra on Easter Sunday for the first time after the State Government changed the religious day to a public holiday.

The ramifications of the December decision to change Easter Sunday from a non-trading day to a public holiday will be felt this weekend.

Restaurants will apply a surcharge and businesses will fork out millions of dollars in extra wages but on the flipside, major department stores will trade.

The public holiday declaration means workers will receive a penalty rate of 250% instead of the normal Sunday rate of 175%.

National Retail Association boss Dominique Lamb expected about 50% of small businesses to open.

"Until small business gets a penalty cut on public holidays it will be difficult for them," she said

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland advocacy manager Kate Whittle said the public holiday would cost the retail, accommodation and hospitality sectors $58.2 million. She said employees would be hit with reduced hours and thousands of businesses in retail, accommodation and hospitality would now close their doors on the Sunday.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the new public holiday would create some 1000 jobs and brought south-east Queensland in to line with regional Queensland.

"It's up to individual businesses to decide whether to open their doors on Easter Sunday - trading remains completely voluntary.

"Likewise, the decision whether to levy a public holiday surcharge is a matter for individual restaurants, bars and cafes.

"Many people will be prepared to pay a bit extra over the Easter holiday period to enjoy a meal out with family and friends."

Opposition Industrial Relations spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said the public holiday was an ALP "thought bubble" and the LNP "remain unconvinced of the benefits".