In a decision streamed live today by the Fair Work Commission, it was announced that Sunday penalty rates will be reduced for hospitality, retail and fast food workers.
What we know right now is that for hospitality workers, your Sunday rates (full-time and part-time) will be cut from 175 per cent of their standard wage to 150 per cent.
WHAT IS THAT IN REAL TERMS?
You could be losing up to $6000 a year off your paycheck.
But, at least you can rest assured that the Fair Work Commissioner acknowledges your pain – Ian Ross said during the announcement that he realises that it might cause hardship to those who only just make enough to cover their expenses as it is.
SO WHY THE CUTS?
Well the biff over the cost of penalty rates has been going on for some time now, with the commission hearing evidence from industry groups and unions since 2015.
WHO IS PUSHING IT?
Employers and some Coalition MPs have been arguing that Sunday rates should be the same as Saturday rates because the higher wages are no longer appropriate.
Additionally, the Productivity Commission recommended in December 2015 that Sunday rates be reduced in a raft of recommendations they made for workplace reform.
So far, Labor and the union movement have maintained their strongly opposition to the cuts, with Bill Shorten running it as a campaign point in the recent federal election.
WHO IS SUPPORTING HOSPO WORKERS?
Your union, United Voice, has lobbied the Coalition and Labor on penalty rates since the 2015 recommendation from the Productivity Commission, and has been picketing parliamentary offices to push their point.
WHAT DOES THE PUBLIC THINK?
According to the ABC, polling by the union released recently found that voters in five marginal NSW seats — Robertson, Gilmore, Page, Reid and Banks — were opposed to cutting weekend penalty rates.
We’ll keep you updated…