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Fair work or won't work?

the Fair Work Commission has agreed to reduce penalty rates for permanent staff (apparrently not casuals) for Sunday work and Public Holidays.

Bill Shorten thinks it's terrible but the Tourism Minister thinks it's great; obviously there are two angles to this - the small business owner (who's presumably happy) vs workers like baristas and wait staff. What are your thoughts, whichever side of the fence you're on?


  • I have not had a chance to read the findings but I heard from someone on the phone late this afternoon that whilst hospitality was part of the included industries it exempted certain restaurants and cafes. Not sure of the details. Personally I think excessive penalty rates are detrimental to economies and yes I work every weekend and public holiday without being paid a cent. I do it to survive, not to save money. Putting aside labour costs as a big ticket item for business expense, rent looms a close third after COGS and the recent compression of yields on property from escalating asset values will drive some serious rent spikes over the next few years. With high labor and rent, consumer expectations that prices deflate or remain relatively static over the same period from increased competition, the only outcome is a failure of business to generate adequate returns.....and then you have a broad range of economic consequences. The reality is that a business needs to operate for the maximum number of hours to maximise the opportunity for generating revenue. When penalties are imposed, the constraint is applied immediately with many businesses opting to close rather than lose money. All that happens in this scenario is that consumers miss out on experiences from a lack of amenity.
  • Penalty rates are one of the reasons prices in Oz are so high, don't hold your breath waiting for a drop though, won't happen.
  • There are many costs to running a business and wages is but one All these costs are before wages Rent Regulation Bank loan payments Utilities Insurance Licence Product purchased for sale Wages Most ( not all ) people think the boss is rolling in cash and think about their rights and pay The Boss has few rights if any at all and they ( most ) could work double shifts every day If they were paid even the ordinary wage for the hours they put in they should be rolling in it but guess what - some weeks they run in arrears  KK 
  • most cafe owners i know earn less than their staff not justifying taking away penalty rates but its worth remembering that wage cost is often the single largest overhead for most small cafes... p
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