Unfair penalty rate cuts hit retail and fast food workers hard

June 29, 2018 Protect Penalty Rates

The next round of penalty rates cuts, set to begin on July 1 for 700,000 Australians including hundreds of thousands of workers in retail and fast food were deeply unfair, did not create jobs, did not stimulate the economy and once again demonstrated why Australia needs to change the rules relating to work.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer said that this next round of penalty rate cuts would make life much harder for retail and fast food workers and their families.

“On July 1, 700,000 Australians, including thousands of retail and fast food workers will get an additional pay cut of up to $55 a month when their Sunday penalty rates are slashed a further 10% to 15%.”

“In total, these penalty rate cuts will cost retail and fast food workers, many whose employment is insecure and low income, between $2,000 and $6,000 a year.”

“This is a pay cut they cannot afford and do not deserve.”

“At a time when the Turnbull Government proposes to give wealthy Australians a $7,000 income tax cut and $80 billion in tax cuts to big business, this penalty rate cut comes as a particularly unfair blow to retail and fast food workers who struggle to make ends meet.”

Mr Dwyer said there was no evidence that the penalty rate cuts had created jobs or stimulated the economy.

“Joint research from Macquarie and Wollongong universities has confirmed that last years penalty rate cuts have failed to create any new jobs.”

“Further, Australia’s Reserve Bank has consistently stated that low wage growth is a major handbrake on the Australian economy.”

“If the Turnbull Government and business community want to improve Australia’s economy they need to support policies that put money back into working people’s pockets, not take it out.”

“These penalty rate cuts demonstrate why we need to change to rules around work, to get a better deal for Australian retail and fast food workers.”

July 1 Penalty Rate Cut Facts

  • On July 1, 700,000 Australians including hundreds of thousands of workers in retail and fast food will receive further cuts of 10% and 15% to their Sunday penalty rates.
  • Retail workers will receive a 15% cut to their Sunday penalty rates while fast food workers will receive a 10% cut.
  • For a level 1 retail employee, this would mean a pay cut of up to $55 a month or $670 per year.
  • Retail, fast food and hospitality workers will receive further penalty rate cuts on July 1, 2019 and July 1, 2020. The first penalty rate cut occurred on July 1, 2017.
  • These total penalty rate cuts will amount to between $2,000 and $6,000 per worker when fully implemented.