The Fair Work Commission's decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for workers in certain industries forebodes a new battle between Labor and the Coalition.
In an ironic twist, Bill Shorten when employment minister paved the way for the Fair Work Commission decision.
The latest reflection on just how appalling things are in federal politics came this week from former Treasury head Ken Henry.
ACTU president Ged Kearney called on Malcolm Turnbull ‘to stand up for workers in this country, to actually change the laws to protect people’s pay’.
Hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers stand to lose thousands of dollars per year after the Fair Work Commission's landmark decision to cut penalty rates on Sundays and public holidays.
Unions campaigned on Sunday penalty rates during the federal election.
Are penalty rates no longer relevant in the retail industry — and do they cost jobs? Recent research compared two neighbouring states where one raised rates to the other's level to find the answer.
Protesters were back on the streets demanding penalty rates be left alone when the Coalition government asked the Productivity Commission to look at workplace relations last year.
Cutting penalty rates can be a vote-changer and the looming Fair Work Commission decision is tricky for both sides of politics. So what cards do the parties hold and how might they play them?
There are reasons why people get paid more to work out of hours beyond the working week being a social construct.
Penalty rates are often cast as a roadblock to business or employment but, research sees penalty rates as a deterrent against employing workers in ways that risk workers’ health.
Brendan O'Connor came under interrogation about Labor’s position on weekend penalty rates.
Normally it is the Coalition that is on the defensive over industrial relations at election time, with Labor claiming workers’ rights are under threat from the conservatives. But currently Labor finds…
The Productivity Commission last year recommended that Sunday penalty rates should be brought in line with those applying to Saturday.
The federal opposition says that reducing penalty rates in the retail and hospitality sectors would widen the gender pay gap across the economy and hit consumption.
It’s not just young single people that work weekends.
Myths abound about the impact penalty rates have on employment and services.
Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said there is feedback from cafes and restaurants that Sunday penalty rates are prohibitively expensive.
Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the Q&A audience last week that a lot of cafes and restaurants are closing because of Sunday penalty rates. Is that supported by the evidence?
The great majority of Sunday workers who would lose penalty rates under proposed IR reforms, are non-unionists.
The Productivity Commission's proposed industrial relations reform goes after unions, but will generally affect the non-unionised workforce most.
The Howard-era WorkChoices redefined the terms around which the debate on workplace relations reform has been couched.
Echoes of WorkChoices? The Coalition is keen to avoid any whiff of the failed policy, but some of the Productivity Commission's recommendations have a strong flavour of it.
Cafe workers are among many that stand to lose Sunday penalty rates.
Sunday penalty rates will go under Productivity Commission recommendations, but overall our workplace system was basically operating well, it found.
Chairman of the Productivity Commission, Peter Harris.
The Productivity Commission has recommended paring back Sunday penalty rates, more consideration to economic circumstances in setting minimum wages, and a new form of statutory employment contract.
The Retail Council has said their research shows a significant proportion of retail workers were willing to work “the purported anti-social hours”.
AAP Image/Paul Miller
Are we all hitting the shops on Sundays in record numbers or are shopping precincts reduced to ghost towns on the weekends due to penalty rates? It seems employer groups want it both ways -- and penalty rates cut.
There are still many reasons workers and shop owners avoid Sunday trading.
Employer groups are hoping a new deal on penalty rates will set a precedent, but the voices of young workers are missing from the debate.
The losers from reducing minimum wage are obvious - but it is more difficult to assess the winners.
Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com
Those currently depending on the minimum wage and penalty rates would be hit by any reduction - but overall, there may be a net social gain.
Can people who work weekends really choose not to?
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott recently commented that if employees “don’t want to work on a weekend, fair enough, don’t work on a weekend … But if you do want to work on a weekend — and lots of…
A debate about penalty rates ought to involve the cash economy.
Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com
Amid the ongoing debate over the future of penalty rates, a subtle but important issue also deserves to be examined: their impact on Australia’s “cash economy”. The Fair Work Commission is currently reviewing…
Like it or not, working on a Sunday is not the same as working on a Tuesday.
Not for the first time this year, Workplace Minister Eric Abetz has been forced to calm the rumblings after another government minister weighed in on penalty rates, and why they should be cut. Changes…