The Andrews Labor Government has opposed the Fair Work Commission decision to cut Sunday and public holiday rates in the retail, hospitality and accommodation sectors.
The decision affects award-reliant, low paid workers, including young workers and women who make up more than half the workforce in these sectors.
The Labor Government made a submission to the FWC review strongly opposing any change to penalty rates. In its submission the following points were made:
- There is no convincing evidence cuts to penalty rates will lead to significant jobs growth
- A reduction in penalty rates is likely to have adverse and disproportionate impacts on award-reliant, low paid classes of workers, including young workers and female workers
- Economic modelling suggests that reducing penalty rates may have a disproportionately negative impact on rural and regional economies
- Victoria's experience with expanded trading hours demonstrates that penalty rates do not inhibit the ability of businesses to operate outside traditional hours
One in six local workers rely on award wages and penalty rates are critical for many to make ends meet, put food on the table and pay their bills. The FWC acknowledged that many workers affected by the decision do struggle to make ends meet.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins
“Working on nights and weekends can have a detrimental impact on health, family and personal relationships and should be fairly compensated for this through the payment of penalty rates.”
“Malcolm Turnbull needs to decide if he will stand up for workers or not.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020