Hospitality staff hardest hit by rates cut
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.