South Australia's retail sector union has called on the state government to declare Christmas Day a public holiday, saying thousands of workers could otherwise be up to $200 out of pocket.
Because Christmas Day falls on a Saturday this year, SA has ruled the public holiday will be held on the following Monday.
The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association says it's the only state to take such a stand.
It says the subsequent loss of penalty rates could leave workers worse off at a time when money matters most to many South Australians.
SDA state secretary Josh Peak said Premier Steven Marshall had the power to declare Christmas Day a public holiday but was refusing to do so after what had been a tough year for everyone.
"To think the Premier Marshall will be ending the year by denying workers public holiday penalty rates on Christmas Day is a disgrace," he said.
"We've relied on essential workers so much through this pandemic and it's essential workers who will be working Christmas Day.
"It's outrageous that the government is treating essential workers with such disrespect."
The SDA said the problems this year could be compounded by people who usually work Saturdays but don't work on Christmas Day potentially being forced to take unpaid leave.
Australian Associated Press