Penalty Rates Inquiry Commences

25 April 2017

Starting today, members of the Legislative Assembly will be looking into the impacts of penalty rate cuts by the Fair Work Commission supported by the Turnbull Government and Matthew Guy’s Opposition.

The Penalty Rates and Fair Pay Select Committee will look into the social and economic cost of the Fair Work Commissions to changes to penalty rates.

The changes will begin to impact the wages of retail, hospitality, pharmacy and fast food workers from the middle of the year.

The select committee will be looking into the detrimental effects such changes will have on:

  • Victoria’s lowest paid, award reliant workers
  • Women
  • Young workers
  • Workers in regional Victoria
  • Single parents
  • The detrimental effects on the Victorian economy
  • Other industries that are now potentially open to the same wage cuts.

It comes as 78 leading Australian economists signed an open letter to the Fair Work Commission earlier this month, commenting that cutting award wages will likely hurt the national economy.

Unlike the opposition the Andrews Labor Government has firmly opposed the cuts to penalty rates and is looking to the Committee for ideas of what can be done in Victoria to assist those impacted by the cuts.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins

“The Victorian Government will continue to campaign against penalty rate cuts and urges Victorians’ to provide evidence and submissions to the committee.”

“Workers are tired of working longer hours for less pay to make ends meet.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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