“It is encouraging that the Fair Work Commission has moved in the right direction to make weekend work more secure,” says Aaron Lane, Legal Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.
“Penalty rates are a penalty on jobs. The higher the penalty, the higher the barriers are into employment – putting the job market further out of reach for the most disadvantaged Australians.”
“There are businesses right around the country that have stopped trading on Sundays because penalty rates are prohibitively high. Case after case we hear of family owned small businesses that run on skeleton staff on a Sunday because they are unable to afford the extra penalty rates.
This situation is bad for employers and employees alike. Today’s decision will improve business viability, increase weekend trading hours and increase employment opportunities.”
“This Fair Work Commission’s decision recognises that many Australians prefer weekend work – but a system where Saturdays and Sundays are treated differently places a burden on both the employer, the employee and those looking for work. Young people rely on casual weekend work to support themselves and to gain valuable work experience. ”
“Of course, a fairer way would be to let individuals decide their own penalty rates. A fairer work system would allow individual employees and employers to come to their own arrangements about pay and conditions. ”
“A fairer work system would allow employees and employers to make decisions that best suit them, rather than being beholden to a centralised industrial tribunal that, by design, can never take into account personal circumstances and actual business condition,” said Mr Lane.
For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]