Blog«Cuts to Penalty Rates: Update
Cuts to Penalty Rates: Update
31 December 2017
8 June 2023
3.69 minutes

Dear Members,

On February 23rd, 2017 the Fair Work Commission (FWC) recommended a cut to penalty rates for hospitality and retail workers.  Maurice Blackburn lawyers reviewed the FWC decision and found that the Commission’s findings of fact and law are all findings potentially applicable to other awards.  In other words, workers within the health and community sectors could also have their penalty rates cut.

In less than two weeks, almost 700,000 workers will have their penalty rates cut!  Workers will notice that their take home pay will be slashed by about $70 a week.

This is unacceptable and will hurt the most vulnerable people in our society.

People living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, regional communities, young Australian’s, women and in particular single mothers will bear the brunt of the FWC cuts to penalty rates.

Penalty rates were established in 1947, when unions argued in the Arbitration Commission that Australian workers needed to be compensated with additional pay for working outside normal hours.  We cannot let the FWC or the Federal government to allow these cuts to be made!

We have the power to stop the penalty rate cuts!  In fact, the Turnball government can vote in the parliament to have these cuts stopped!  The Labor party and the Greens are in favour of passing a law to stop the FWC penalty rate cuts from happening.

In fact, a bill that will reverse the penalty rate cuts has already passed the Federal Senate.  All we need is for the Federal government to support the bill.  Instead of supporting the bill, yesterday, the Federal Government (the Liberal party and Nationals coalition) used its numbers in the House of Representatives To Stop a debate before a vote could even be taken.

We urge all members and their families to call and write to your Federal Member of Parliament (especially Federal Members of Parliament that belong to the Liberal and National Parties) and ask them to pressure their leader, Malcolm Turnbull to vote in the parliament to Stop the Penalty Rate Cuts from commencing in Less than Two Weeks!

The Health Workers Union has written a submission in response to the FWC decision to cut penalty rates.  We have recommended that the Federal government introduce legislation to federal parliament to protect penalty rates from the recent Fair Work Commission decision to cut Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rate pay.

Please click on the following link to read the HWU submission in full: HWU submission to the Victorian Parliaments Select Committee Inquiry into Penalty Rates and Fair Pay 2017

Protect Penalty Rates

We thank you for your support.

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