Hos­pi­tal­ity staff hard­est hit by rates cut

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Daryl Pass­more

MORE than one in seven ac­com­mo­da­tion and hos­pi­tal­ity work­ers around the state would see their take-home pay slashed un­der plans to cut Sun­day penalty rates.

Res­i­dents of some of the state’s tourism hotspots would be hard­est hit if mea­sures in last month’s Fair Work Com­mis­sion de­ci­sion are im­ple­mented.

Anal­y­sis by Queens­land’s Em­ploy­ment de­part­ment found that more than one in nine of peo­ple em­ployed in the re­tail, ac­com­mo­da­tion and food ser­vices sec­tors work Sun­days and would be af­fected.

The re­search showed that the pro­por­tion of hos­pi­tal­ity em­ploy­ees hit would be great­est. More than one in seven such work­ers in places like Cairns, Townsville and south­east Queens­land would lose out.

The Fair Work de­ci­sion cut Sun­day penal­ties from 175 to 150 per cent of stan­dard pay rates in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, from 200 to 150 per cent in re­tail, and from 150 per cent to 125 per cent for fast-food work­ers.

An ear­lier study, by think­tank The McKell In­sti­tute, es­ti­mated that re­duc­ing Sun­day penalty rates would cost work­ers in ru­ral Queens­land at least $82 mil­lion a year in lost pay, cut­ting dis­pos­able in­come by $40 mil­lion.

Queens­land In­dus­trial Re­la­tions Min­is­ter Grace Grace said re­tail and hos­pi­tal­ity work­ers in ev­ery Queens­land re­gion were fac­ing savage pay cuts as a re­sult of the FWC de­ci­sion.

“Those af­fected are among our low­est paid work­ers, who rely on penalty rates to pay their bills and put food on the ta­ble. Mal­colm Turn­bull has the power to in­ter­vene, and Queens­land once again calls on the Prime Min­is­ter to put an end to these un­fair cuts.”

Mr Turn­bull and other fed­eral min­is­ters are ex­pected to dis­cuss their re­sponse to the penalty rates is­sue this week­end.

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