PC report recommends cutting Sunday penalty rates
The Productivity Commission has recommended reducing Sunday penalty rates for entertainment, hospitality and retail workers in its review of the industrial relations system.
In its final report to government, the commission recommended the Fair Work Commission set Sunday penalty rates at the Saturday award rate, currently at 25% loading for permanent full-time and part-time staff, and 10% for casual staff. The existing Sunday rate is set at 100% loading for permanent and casual staff.
The commission said that although penalty rates have a ‘legitimate role in compensating employees for working long hours or at asocial times’, Sunday rates are inconsistent across similar work and ‘anachronistic in the context of changing consumer preferences’. Further, the commission said higher Sunday rates ‘frustrate the job aspirations of the unemployed and those who are only available for work on Sunday’.
The commission also recommended existing public holiday rates remain unchanged, and that the WA, SA and Queensland state governments remove ‘remnant anti-competitive’ shopping hour restrictions.
In tabling the report, employment minister Michaelia Cash said the government will host a ‘series of public consultations’ in the lead-up to the next federal election, and would not change penalty rates prior to this.
As previously reported by Books+Publishing, the review of Australia’s industrial relations system was announced in January 2015.
Category: Local news