ACTU: Penalty rate cuts will create 'a new class of working poor'

Porters Cafe on William Street is now not open on a Sunday, and owner Chris Bergen said the penalty rate cuts do not encourage him to change this.

Full-time and part-time employees covered by the Hospitality, Restaurant, Retail, Fast Food and Pharmacy Awards will all have their public holiday penalty rates reduced from "double time and a half" (250%) to 225%.

For those who work the minimum three hours on a Sunday, they will now have to work an additional hour.

'The last thing you want is to force them [staff] to come in - otherwise you're going to have to fire them, ' Mr Kazzi said.

The legal working age in Australia is 14 and 9 months.

'There should be something extra [for workers]'.

"As rent prices in most Australian capital cities continue to soar and energy costs climb, employers are likely to adjust wages to keep their businesses afloat".

"We are gob smacked that at a time when wages growth is at a record low, and when the Reserve Bank is warning about a slowing economy, that Fair Work Australia, the Federal Government and employer groups think this is a good time to take more money out of the economy".

"I am telling you, the truth is this is no longer the lucky country. That will create more jobs, although I would like to see penalty rates cut further", he says.

Pharmacy Industry Award 2010: for full-time and part-time employees from 200% to 150%, and for casual employees from 200% to 175%.

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Casual workers will see their rate fall from 200% of the standard rate to 175% of the standard rate.

From concerned low-income families, to business owners, full-time, part-time, and casual employees in the sectors are set to be affected. However, we have missed a huge opportunity to boost employment and increase productivity in the fastest growing sector of the food services industry.

Otherwise, those who regularly work Sunday shifts in retail will be left between A$29.16 and A$86.78 worse off every week.

In explaining the ruling, the Commission said it believes working Sundays does result in some "disutility" for workers, but the current schemes to compensate staff for weekend work are not fair and in line with the preferences of consumers.

"I'm really, really angry", she said, standing next to Ged Kearney of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

'We are on the way to seeing a whole class of working poor in this country, ' she said, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. "For a small business, they need to be very mindful of their wages but for the large businesses and people who work Monday to Friday, they're not interested in doing a Sunday unless there is a benefit to it". Manufacturing investment is continuing to perform, but not as strongly as a year ago; only "other industries" is showing growth.

On Twitter, Premier Daniel Andrews said people relied on penalty rates.

She said the changes would mean workers could lose about $5 an hour.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said workers had been "kicked in the guts".

Premier Colin Barnett confirmed he would seek to have the WA Industrial Relations Commission review pay rates for workers under the state system, a day after the Fair Work Commission announced changes for people under its jurisdiction.