Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Sunday penalty rates out

Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross has advised parties the commission is ready to release its penalty rates Fair Work Commission to hand down findings on weekend penalty rates
Lance Thomas | 25 February, 2017, 00:12

On Thursday Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross handed down a ruling that will lower the Sunday penalty loadings for workers covered by the hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy awards after more than a year of deliberations and several delays.

Retail: Sunday rates reduced from 200 to 150 per cent of standard wage for full and part-time workers, and from 200 to 175 for casual workers.

"Excepting the fast food award, we have not reduced the Sunday penalty rates to same level as Saturday penalty rates".

Employers admitted the reduction in Sunday penalty rates would not offer consumers lower prices, a crucial clause in the Fair Work Commission's ruling has revealed.

Reaction to the announcement yesterday was swift, with numerous associations that represent business owners welcoming the news, while the unions were much less happy.

She says she relies on penalty rates to boost her Sunday pay from A$19.90 per hour to just under A$30.

Known as penalty rates, it afforded employees higher wages - as much as 200% in some cases - on Sundays and public holidays.

The commission said employers could hire more part-time employees rather than leaving them as casuals.

It found that while compensating employees for working outside normal hours was relevant in today's world, deterring employers from rostering staff during those hours (and therefore operating) was no longer a relevant consideration. Old notions of a time to work, and a time to rest (with the country sliding to a near halt on the Sabbath) are more or less irrelevant in a society where many of us, especially in cities, want our retail and hospitality providers open seven days a week, if not around the clock.

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At a media conference on Wednesday, Shorten to do "everything in our power, in the parliament and in the courts, to remedy this bad decision because Australian workers shouldn't be suffering wages cuts".

As part of its decision, the FWC does not seek to make any changes to existing Saturday penalty rates. We have not reached a concluded view as to the form of those arrangements.

"It's ironic that people on hundreds of thousands of dollars a year who work at the commission are making decisions that affect the poorest workers", he said.

"I think the Industrial Relations Commission itself should manage these issues without the threat of legislation". "We are now experiencing the largest-ever expansion of accommodation hotels across the country, so it is imperative that workplace reforms support this growth phase". However, casuals workers will still get 175%. "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. Tourism and Hospitality is Australia's largest industry.

In the fast food industry, the rates will drop to 125% from 150%.

"It will take time to see the outcome of this decision".

My best friend reckons that every Australian should be forced to work in a service role on minimum wage for at least six months of their lives.

However, she did agree with Australian Retailers Association's Russell Zimmerman, who said businesses would now be able to employ more weekend staff.

"PSA acknowledges the many community pharmacy owners around Australia who pay their pharmacists and staff well above award rates, even under the current hard financial climate", PSA National President Joe Demarte says.

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