Hol­i­day pay rates are pro­tected


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS -

AS MOST peo­ple en­joy the Queen’s birth­day long week­end with friends and fam­ily, spare a thought for those work­ing in in­dus­tries that don’t shut down.

For some sec­tors, such as re­tail, hos­pi­tal­ity and the arts, public hol­i­days are of­ten a busier than usual time, while in in­dus­tries such as health­care, man­u­fac­tur­ing, trans­port and ware­hous­ing, it is a nor­mal work day.

The law has long recog­nised the im­pact of hav­ing to work on week­ends and public hol­i­days through a sys­tem of penalty rates.

While fewer than in the past, most work­ers ros­tered on to work on public hol­i­days, week­ends, at night or other unso­cia­ble hours are en­ti­tled to be paid penalty rates: ex­tra money that com­pen­sates them for miss­ing out on time with fam­ily and friends. For em­ploy­ers, it is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that awards and work­place agree­ments are legal doc­u­ments.

Fail­ing to pay staff penalty rates or other en­ti­tle­ments is against the law.

A fail­ure to pay can lead to sig­nif­i­cant fines on top of un­paid wages.

For work­ers, it is im­por­tant to check en­ti­tle­ments to penalty rates when work­ing on a public hol­i­day. For ca­sual work­ers in par­tic­u­lar, penalty rates can make up a large part of their wage.

The Fair Work Om­buds­man’s web­site – fairwork.gov.au – pro­vides ac­cess to pay rates, awards and em­ploy­ment agree­ments that can help you find out the cor­rect rate of pay dur­ing the long week­end.

If you be­lieve your em­ployer has failed to pay you cor­rectly, or you have not re­ceived the penalty rates you are legally en­ti­tled to, you should con­tact your rel­e­vant union or the Fair Work Om­buds­man for help.

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