SDA Commissioned Research: Penalty Rates
The SDA along with United Voice commissioned the McKell Institute to conduct research into the economic impact a cut to the penalty rates of retail and hospitality workers would have on the Queensland economy. The findings offer an important counterpoint to current arguments in favour of partial and total cuts to penalty rates.
The research found that:-
- A retail worker with a regular Sunday shift could lose up to $114 per week (currently $117 due to an increase in the General Retail Award) from the proposed reduction of Sunday penalty rates.
- Across Bonner, Bowman, Brisbane, Dickson, Forde and Longman federal electorates, retail and hospitality workers stand to lose up to $78 million each year in wages.
- In rural Queensland, a partial abolition of penalty rates would result in workers in the retail and hospitality sector losing between $81.9 million and $151.3 million per year.
- A partial reduction of penalty rates would most likely impact the workers capacity to spend on discretionary items such as local goods and services therefore impacting the wider community.
SDA Secretary Chris Gazenbeek says retail workers deserve their penalty rates as compensation for working unsociable hours.
“With the additional money penalty rates bring in, retail workers are able to pay their bills and to spend that little bit extra within their local community.
“A cut to penalty rates is a cut our members can’t afford and don’t deserve,” said Chris.