Keep Your Hands Off My Holidays, AHA

From an ABC report:

The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) says people should be forced to forfeit some of their annual leave if they do not take enough holidays.

The association says Australians are saving up too much money, while the tourism industry is floundering.

AHA chief executive Bill Healey says people should be forced to cut back their annual leave to 300 hours before each new financial year.

He says the amount of leave accrued by Australians is a liability for businesses.

“There’s $31 billion on business balance sheets,” he said.

“There’s 121 million days of leave that are sitting there and we want Australians to take that leave and to go out and enjoy our great destinations and spend some money, because that’s what’s going to keep the wheels of the economy turning.”

So Mr. Healey would like the government to impose intrusive regulations on Australians for the benefit of his members.

Of course there are legitimates reasons why an employer might wish to restrict the amount of leave their employees accrue, and they should be allowed to restrict them. An employer might believe that their employees are more productive when they take regular holidays, or might not want them on leave for long periods. That decision should be up to individual employers, not the government.

But points to Mr Healey for stating correctly (in accounting terms) that accrued leave is a ‘liability’ for businesses, leaving the implication that it is also a ‘liability’ in the common sense, i.e. a problem that something should be done about.

Not the first or the last rent-seeker inspired by the GFC.

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