Media Release: Cash deliberately misleading on penalty rates

September 4, 2017 Media Releases

An analysis by the Industrial Relations Minister, Michaelia Cash, is a manipulation of data that
deliberately skews the facts and ignores the benefits of Enterprise Agreements for workers.

SDA National Secretary, Gerard Dwyer says “the report by the Minister is fundamentally flawed
by using arbitrary dates for her comparison rather than an accurate comparison using dates
recommended by the BOOT.

“The analysis fails to account for all the over Agreement rates paid to staff since the expiry of
the Agreement, as well as ignoring the various different entitlements secured for workers that
Awards do not offer.

“While Unions are fighting tooth and nail to protect workers and their take home pay, the
Industrial Minister is spending her time on pursuing her own political agenda in unfounded and
misleading attacks.

Across sectors, the rolling up of penalty rates into higher base rates of pay and working
conditions has been effective in securing superior wages and conditions for workers across many
industries. For example, the Agreement for McDonalds workers delivers the following benefits:

  • Guaranteed minimum shifts of 10 hours per week
  • Shorter maximum shifts for both full-­‐time, part-­‐time and casual workers
  • Emergency services leave
  • Study leave
  • Double payment as compensation if you miss a meal break
  • More generous pay and conditions for delivery workers, including paid car insurance for delivery workers
  • Strong annual wage increases of between 3.5% and 4.5%
This is just one of the many Agreements secured by the SDA which offers workers far greater
rights and entitlements than they would receive under the Award.
Gerard Dwyer says that “small businesses also have the same opportunity to create Agreements
for their workers with the SDA, however in states such as in South Australia, the EBA
framework was rejected by all small businesses that examined it, because it increased wage costs
and reduced flexibility.
“The Liberal Party’s track record on penalty rates is one of a relentless 25 year attack on the take
home pay of working Australians. In the landmark penalty rate case, Turnbull Government went
missing in action and failed to even make a submission on behalf of retail and hospitality
Media contact: Amelia Brock 0430 187 161