Published: Sat, February 25, 2017
Life&Culture | By Kristin Armstrong

What Does the Sunday Penalty Rate Cut Mean for You?


The Fair Work Commission has ruled to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for retail, hospitality, pharmacy and fast food employees effective from July.

Former retail worker Sharon McClafferty said penalty rates were the difference between her being able to study or not.

I'd sure love to see anyone at the Fair Work Commission live off $600 per week. He previously said Labor would legislate to protect workers whose income would be reduced by the change, but he has not outlined specific mechanisms here.

THE STATE'S peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, believes the decision of the full bench of the Fair Work Commission in its four yearly review of modern awards is the first step in addressing a major issue in workplace relations and politicians looking for short term political gain to prevent its intention should be called out by the electorate.

Senator Katy Gallagher, shadow minister for small business and financial services, echoed Shorten's message, telling SmartCompany the policy was not what business needed.

THOUSANDS of workers could have their pay packets slashed by double digits today if the officials decide to cut penalty rates.

The decision will be welcomed by businesses and opposed by workers. Casual retail workers will see their penalty rate on a Sunday drop from double-time to time-and-three-quarters.

"The evidence also supports the proposition that a reduction in penalty rates is likely to read to an increase of opening hours and an increase in overall hours worked". "However, it is an economic disaster for retailers with most finding weekend and public holiday trade hard to make money from", he told Appliance Retailer.

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Now that the decision has landed there are widespread predictions that these deals will now be progressed once the cuts take effect from July.

"For us, we open most public holidays and at the weekend and people appreciate it because they can get a cup of coffee on their days off".

Ai Group chief executive Innex Willox said in an interview on Sky News the group "hoped" the changes would help with job numbers.

The Fair Work Commission has decided hospitality and retail workers deserve less pay. "People at 2nds World are the key to our success with most having been with the company for at least five to 10 years, or even longer", he said.

In Australia, penalty rates in fact apply to working weekends, public holidays, overtime and late-night or early morning shifts. This is where it now sits, and what might change.

"Some of [the business owners] will be thinking 'let me do my sums, now can I have Sunday off?'" he says.

He added that: "our hearts especially go out to working women, who are the majority of the workforce in these industries - retail is the second largest employer of women nationally and of women aged under twenty-five".

"We are still a long way off turnover realisation and timing to make that leap but this decision is certainly welcome news for us and our fellow retailers as we continue to strive to meet consumer expectation and stay one step in front of exclusively online retailers", he added.

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