AROUND 700,000 Australians working in the retail, hospitality and accommodation industries will have their penalty rates cut starting from tomorrow.
The move will affect more than 160,000 Sunday workers in Queensland.
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has called on the Prime Minister to get behind hardworking Aussies and protect penalty rates for low-paid workers.
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“Hardworking Queenslanders in our vital hospitality and retail sectors are once again facing harsh cuts to their take-home pay, with the next round of penalty rates set to kick in from this Sunday,” Ms Grace said.
“This year’s penalty rate cuts will be between 10-15%, on top of the 5% cuts from last year.
“We know that many of these low-paid workers often rely on Sunday and public holiday rates to make ends meet and to provide some compensation for missing out on family time on weekends.
“But thanks to the Turnbull Government, they’re now staring down the barrel of even more penalty rate cuts.
“By the end of 2019-20, the total penalty rate cuts for these workers will be between 25-50%.”
Ms Grace said the cuts would “devastate family budgets” and reduce spending on local goods and services.
“At a time when wages growth is at record lows, low paid workers need a pay rise, not a pay cut.”
The Minister said there was still time for cuts to be stopped.
“Federal Labor has recently introduced a private member’s bill to restore and protect penalty rates for around 700,000 low paid Australian workers affected by the cuts,” she said.
“Malcolm Turnbull still has an opportunity to do the right thing here by supporting Labor’s bill – these cuts can be stopped.
“We know he refused to support a similar bill to protect penalty rates last year – he now has a second chance to redeem himself.”