By Aimee Chanthadavong

There are whispers that a clash between Anzac Day and the Easter holidays next year will result in a five-day long weekend.

However, when Retailbiz contacted the NSW Industrial Relations no one was available to comment further.

The NSW Industrial Relations website indcated the 2011 dates for the Easter weekend and Anzac Day will be from Friday 22 April to Tuesday 26 April. Easter Monday will fall on Tuesday 26 April with the date marked as a ‘substituted public holiday for Easter Monday’ while Anzac Day will fall on Monday 25 April.

This means it will be the first five-day long weekend since 2000, when Easter Monday fell on 24 April.

But Scott Driscoll, United Retail Federation national president, told Retailbiz that this decision will have a negative impact on retailers, particularly on small businesses.

“This is something we’ve expressed concern over as it’s a real pity where there has been no consideration for splitting up the holidays because retailers will now face additional cost in one hit,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity lost for moving the public holidays to a substitute day in a later part of the year because that’d mean we won’t see retailers face with high penalty rates.

“And this is something at this time that we don’t need in a time of recovery where we’re going to be continuing coming out of prolonged down turn and it’s a decision that the government should have taken into consideration and this begs the question whether the government is in touch with the economic impact that it will have on retailers.”

At the same time, Driscoll said these penalty rates will not only adversely affect retailers but the consumers too.

"There’ll also be a direct affect on consumers as there’s no doubt a cup of coffee, for instance, during that time will be hit exponentially when retailers pass on the high costs to their customers.”