In December 2015, the productivity commission called for Sunday penalty rates to be reduced to the rates of Saturday payments. This approved reduction will gradually come into effect over the next few years. Workers in the retail, fast food, and pharmacy and hospitality industry are impacted by the penalty rate reduction.
Why there should be a reduction
Along with the productivity commission, small business wanted these changes because it improves their ability to operate and make profits on Sundays as well as their ability to hire more staff. They believe this will allow them to reduce prices on Sundays and create a better customer experience.
Why there shouldn’t be a reduction
However unions and the workers impacted by the penalty rate reduction argue that the reduction takes money directly from, money that they depend on for living expenses. This reduced income would also reduce spending in the economy. They believe that original Sunday rates were fair compensation for missing various social events including spending time with children at home. They also argue that there is no guarantee that these business will take advantage of the reduced rates to hire more staff and reduce their prices to create a better customer experience.
How retail workers are impacted
- In the retail industry the Sunday penalty rate for full and part-time employees will be reduced from 200% to 150%
- For casuals the rate will be reduced from 200% to 175%.
How fast food workers are impacted
- Full-time and part-time level 1 employees rates will be reduced from 150% to 125%
- Level 1 casual employee rates will be reduced from 175% to 150%
- No change for level 2 and 3 employees
How pharmacy workers are impacted
- Full-time and part-time employees working between 7:00am and 9:00pm will have their rates reduced from 200% to 150%
- Casual Sunday rates reduced from 200% to 175%
How hospitality workers are impacted
- Full and part-time penalty rates will be reduced from 175% to 150%
- Casual Sunday rates will stay at 175%
Source: ABC news
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