Listen up, young Aussies: Sunday penalty rates have been cut

Listen up, young Aussies: Sunday penalty rates have been cut

Public holiday penalty rates will also be reduced, with the commission ruling that "existing public holiday penalty rates for full-time and part-time employees in the Hospitality and Retail Awards are neither fair nor relevant".

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has said that the decision will mean that almost half a million people, including some of the country's lowest-paid workers, would lose up to AUD 6,000 (USD 4,610) a year.

"The biggest problem is we are already giving up family and sports time and extra curricular things to work Sundays", she said.

The expert legal opinion will embolden a push by Labor and the Greens to try to prevent penalty rate cuts in future and to protect current workers from the commission's landmark decision on Thursday to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates in four awards. The industries effected are retail, fast food, hospitality, and pharmacies.

"As a student, the reason I have the time to study at university during the week is because I get penalty rates", she says.

And pharmacy full-time and part-time workers working from 7am to 9pm will see penalties cut from 200 per cent to 150 per cent. Unlike the commission, they haven't sat through the evidence presented, yet no doubt will be making all sorts of threats to introduce legislation making this decision irrelevant.

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Hume MP Angus Taylor (Liberal) said he "sympathised" with workers affected by the cuts though he believed it was in the best interests of everyone to "respect the decision and move on with it".

But this week's changes affect only Sunday and public holiday pay, and vary across industries.

Do you agree or disagree with the Fair Work Commission's ruling? "And that's something that we really should have as a bottom line demand that we all have and that's the creation of more jobs", Willox said.

Union leaders argue that Sunday loadings of up to 200 per cent were crucial compensation for low-paid employees who sacrifice weekends and work unsociable hours.

"Even if these Sunday penalty rate cuts are implemented, there are still penalty rates of 150 per cent on Sundays, 125 per cent on weeknights and 125 per cent on Saturdays", he said.

A recent report by the McKell institute examining the financial impact of reduced penalty rates concluded it create a "substantial decline in regional and rural economies".

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

"I have never seen an argument which would justify wholesale pay cuts for the lowest paid workers in Australia".

Further, Steve Knott, CEO of the resource industry employer group AMMA, said their organisation welcomes the decision to reduce Sunday Penalty Rates from double-time (200%) to time-and-a-half (150%) for most industries.

'I'm not happy about it, working on the weekend is lot worse than during the week, ' she said of the Fair Work decision.

Employees of some small businesses fall under the state-based system and are not impacted by Fair Work's decision. "It has so many tentacles and consequences that's going to cause this for not only myself but for everybody here and for the thousands of workers that are working now or at home".

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