BLACK SABBATH Workers to lose Sunday rates but earn more shifts under proposal
SHOP assistants and waiters would receive the same penalty rates on Sunday as they get on Saturday under proposals from the Productivity Commission.
Arguing that consumers demand shops and cafes stay open all weekend, the Productivity Commission found it was “anachronistic” for retail and hospitality workers to expect higher penalty rates for working on Sunday.
“Social trends and community norms have shifted so that the historically distinctive role of Sundays as a time when people did not shop or engage in other consumer-oriented activities has changed,” the report said.
“Sundays now resemble Saturdays.”
Higher Sunday penalty rates also make it more difficult for people who want to work on the weekend to find a job, the Productivity Commission found.
Under the proposals, there would be a single weekend rate for the hospitality, retail, entertainment, cafe and restaurant industries.
Unions and Labor reacted furiously to the proposal and called for the Government to reject it.
Opposition workplace spokesman Brendan O’Connor said the proposed cut to penalty rates was “Malcolm Turnbull’s gift that no worker wants for Christmas”.
SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer, who represents retail and fast food workers, said penalty rates were “very often the only reason a worker will give up time with their family to work on a weekend” and many workers relied on the extra pay to make ends meet.
But former ACTU leader and Labor tourism minister Martin Ferguson, who now works for Tourism Accommodation Australia, backed the proposals and compared Sunday penalty rates to “shift penalties that were relevant in the 1930s and 1940s”.
Mr Ferguson said many hospitality businesses were