Retail Workers Waiting On Penalty Rates Decision

Sunday Shifts Could Be Less Lucrative

22 February 2017

Article heading image for Retail Workers Waiting On Penalty Rates Decision

Retail and hospitality workers will find out today whether weekend penalty rates will be cut, when a long awaited Fair Work Australia decision is handed down.

The idea is to make a Sunday shift the equivalent of a Saturday one - at time and a half.

The prime minister has flagged the government will accept the ruling of the independent tribunal.

But Labor workplace spokesman Brendan O'Connor says pay packets are already under stress, growing at a record-low rate of 1.9 per cent.

Annual wages growth has now been flat or falling since June 2014.

The Australian Retailers Association believes the move could allow small business the opportunity to offer more hours to workers.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman says "The research showed us people would accept a reduction- not  a removal in penalty rates, and I would emphasise that we are only seeking a reduction from double time, to time and a half. 

I think if you are unemployed, or you are underemployed and you are offered more hours, or  you are offered a job you would have to agree this is a good decision for the retail industry, provided we have the decision handed down the way we would live to see it."

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