BLACK SAB­BATH Work­ers to lose Sun­day rates but earn more shifts un­der pro­posal

PENALTY RATES

The Courier-Mail - - PENALTY RATES - STEVEN SCOTT

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

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