Federal Member for Forde Bert van Manen MP said the independent Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) decision to cut Sunday penalty rates for the retail, hospitality and fast-food industries was a result of Bill Shorten’s time as Workplace Relations Minister.
“When the Opposition Leader was Workplace Relations Minister under a Gillard-Rudd-Labor Government, he specifically amended the Fair Work Act (FWA) to require the Fair Work Commission to review all penalty rates in awards,” Mr van Manen said.
“As a result of Labor’s reviews, employees in restaurants had their Sunday penalty rates cut.
“Today’s decision is a further result of Bill Shorten’s amendments to the FWA.”
Mr van Manen said the Coalition Government’s position on penalty rates had clearly and consistently been that is was a matter for the independent Fair Work Commission to determine.
“During the 2016 Federal Election I was bombarded with union protesters blaming the Coalition for the threatened cut to penalty rates, however they needed to point the finger back at their leader, who allowed these reviews to take place.”
According to the Commission president Iain Ross, Sunday penalty rate reductions include:
- Full-time and part-time hospitality workers will have their Sunday penalty rate cut from 175 per cent to 150 per cent.
- Full-time and part-time retail workers will have their Sunday penalty rate cut from 200 to 150 per cent.
- Full-time and part-time fast food workers will have their rate cut from 150 per cent to 125 per cent.
- Public holiday rate in retail, hospitality, and fast food will be cut.
Mr van Manen said he had spoken with many local businesses who have expressed their concerns over penalty rates.
“A lot of local small businesses, including those in hospitality, have ceased trading on a Sunday due to the cost of opening their doors,” Mr van Manen said.
“I hope today’s decision leads to more employment opportunities, especially for young people in Forde.”
Mr van Manen said it was also important to note it would not affect people employed under an EBA, only those employed under the Award.