Should penalty rates be cut?

The Fair Work Commission last week ruled there should be a cut to Sunday penalty rates for many workers in the fast food, retail and hospitality industries.

The Commission has now called for submissions over how the pay cuts should be brought in as politicians continue to squabble over the issue. Labor is vowing to stop the cuts, while the Coalition is standing by its decision to respect the Commission's independence.

Do you agree that cutting Sunday penalty rates is the right decision which could lead to the creation of more jobs? Or is it just an erosion of hard-fought workers’ rights?

Comments   9 Comments

It is the precedence the current Government and Business want as they used a very poor argument to cut rates now the whole house of cards can fall. People fail to understand even a person on a fixed salary will have their pay cut if they win this as every person has either a agreement for penalty rates or a sum built into their salary. But the cost is less tax for the budget and greater profits. No proof ever has been produced to say jobs will be created - none!

Just returned from holiday. A resounding "NO!" to cuts in penalty rates. This will not result in more jobs, but more profit for employers. It is the latest move to impoverish Australian workers as they continue to be sent in a downward spiral.

If the FWC or the government believes that jobs will be created, they are in for major disappointment. Very few if any jobs will be created by the rate cuts. Perhaps some employees may gain some extra hours, but jobs will not be the result.
Hospitality workers already staff hotels and restaurants on Sundays and public holidays. These places will not expand operations because wages have been cut by reduced penalty rates. The business will simply pocket the savings.
Has anyone wondered why nurses, firefighters and police retain their penalty rates while the low paid service industry suffers. I will tell you why. Because Turnbull knew that there would be a major public backlash if it did. As it is, he will lose few votes from the FWC decision, as the lowest paid workers of the service industry mostly vote Labor.

Isn't it strange how Turnbull says he will respect the referees decision with FWC cutting of penalty rates.

In the last year, Turnbull has twice rejected FWC decisions and legislated to reverse them. I speak of the Vic firefighters and the truck drivers decisions. It seems that the Turnbull supports favourable decisions and legislates against thos he dislikes.

Those most affected by these rate cuts are hospitality and service industries, who are amongst the lowest paid in Australia. While penalty rates may need some adjustment, compensation must accompany the cuts.

Lastly who believes that any new jobs may be created. Some employees may get extra hours, but in the main, the savings from reduced penalty rates will be banked by small business. The restaurant industry in Queensland has already stated that Sunday and P/H surcharges will be unchanged by the penalty rate cuts.

It isn't about the "independence of the umpire". It's about the Government response to the FWC ruling. Did the Government submission support a rate cut? The Abbott/Turnbull Government is into its fourth year so it is a bit precious to be criticising the Opposition for setting up the Commission so many years ago.

Penalty rates have nothing to do with the "nanny state", an excuse thrown into discussions when people don't like something but don't have a good reason to oppose it. Penalty rates recognise work undertaken outside standard hours does incur an additional cost. It is not an unreasonable principle.

I would like to see some statistics eventually on how many jobs are created by the rate cut. If that is the reason for doing it then that will be how it is judged. BG.

Yes, maybe I should apply for a job with Fair work Commission. I would be all out to be fair to the worker. You have to understand that many young people in hospitality and other industries that are being targeted, are students or people trying to learn a trade and trying to get ahead in this cruel world. At least they are not breeding like rabbits and living off welfare, which was another John Howard move. Remember the 'Baby Bonus.' John Howard also brought in the First Home Grant which lined the pockets of builders and developers and priced homes out of reach of young people.
You are right. Australia is not a Nanny State. Maybe you would be happy if slave labour was reintroduced. Business could then be more competitive.

Remove the Sunday penalty rates we are pricing ourselves out.
"Extreme" should apply for a position with the Fair Work Commission and effect the changes.
Different times: different approaches - the penalty rates were introduced some time back, but we are now living in different times.Australia is not a nanny state. This decision was brought in by an independent Commission that has more data and information than generally available to the public to provide the Government with a balanced view. One does not abolish the Australian Taxation Office just because one does not like to pay taxes.
If this country wants to compete with the advanced jurisdictions it should promote better services and allow people to choose to work given the current situations and not rely on antiquated laws.

The first step to developing policy is to remove all the emotion, decide whatbyou want then worry about implementation. In this case it is clear penalty rates operate in a completely different way to the original intention. Change is therefore warranted. I agree with the decision made.

Then comes just how it might be implemented. We are where we are with penalty rates developed over many decades (slowly) so a slow adjustment is warranted. Maybe grandfathering is necessary but I don't like some of those implications. In my view a slower adjustment than currently planned is sensible.

Definitely NO. Workers rights and benefits have continually been eroded since John Howard's time. I have not been in the workforce for 15 years but still have many friends working. They have told me how worse off they are compared to 20 years ago. Next to no wages growth but cost of living is almost out of reach.
The ones being hit but the penalty cuts are the ones lowest paid but are working when they could be with family or friends. Cutting penalty rates will not increase employment. A business requires a number of staff and is not going to hire extra because of reduced wages.
This is just another Liberal grab. Feed the rich and starve the poor. Would be interesting to know who is this Independent Commission. I never saw a jobs vacant ad. to work for them.

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