What Does the Sunday Penalty Rate Cut Mean for You?


Concerns about the material wellbeing of vulnerable workers relying on penalty rates such as single parents or students are far better addressed specifically through targeted social welfare measures.

As I was only 17 when I started, my hourly rate was pretty low - about $7 an hour.

The commission said the reduction in penalty rates should boost employment in the sectors affected, though it could not quantify the boost.

"This is a pay cut that they certainly can't afford and don't deserve", she said.

Guardian Australia understands the Greens will prepare a bill for release on Friday or Monday and are confident if legislation were passed before orders begin to take effect from 1 July the cuts could in effect be prevented.

Hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers stand to lose thousands of dollars a year after the Fair Work Commission's landmark decision to cut penalty rates on Sundays and public holidays.

Hospitality employees will face a reduction in Sunday pay from 175 per cent to 150 per cent, while casual hospitality workers' pay will remain unchanged.

In hindsight, not all of these deals have worked out well for employees.

Everyone knows that most hospitality workers, shop assistants, hair dressers and beauty therapists are women.

In the retail trade, 56 per cent of employees are women.

"We call on the Malcolm Turnbull and all political parties to immediately act to protect working people from any cuts to their take home pay", Szakacs said.

Public holidays: Retail and hospitality workers will have their standard wage reduced from 250 per cent to 225 per cent.

One third of all retail workers are under the age of 24 and a majority are women.

Female participation in part-time employment has been growing in recent years.

. For the 45.7 per cent who are men in this industry, it was roughly even for full-time and part-time work. In other words, while it no longer has religious significance, Sunday is still a day of rest. Likewise, a study by Restaurants and Catering Australia has found reducing Sunday loadings to Saturday levels would create as many as 40,000 jobs.

Mr Squire agreed the lower rates might make Sunday shifts less appealing for employees.

"Our staff are covered by the Registered and Licensed Clubs Award, and are therefore unaffected by this decision, and will continue to be paid penalty rates", he said. Ditto for public holidays.

"Personally I think people need to be remunerated if they are spending time away from their families on weekend days", he said.

The business community expected a ruling from Fair Work by October 2016, and a number of delays in the ruling have frustrated smaller operators.

For us the objective was to modernise the award, not to abolish penalty rates, but to make it relevant to the 21st century as a means of employing more Australians.

Ross also maintained that "for many workers Sunday has a higher rate of disutility than other work... despite this being lesser than previously".

Mr Ross said the commission had refrained from cutting Saturday rates or, apart from the fast-food award, aligning Sunday rates with Saturday rates.

That way our lowest paid workers wouldn't miss out.

The rates for public holidays have also been reduced. Ultimately it comes around to bite them because the very people who spend money in their businesses now have less money in their pockets.



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