UnionsWA today responded to the release by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA of a submission to the Economic Regulatory Authority Inquiry into Microeconomic Reform that calls on the Barnett Government to abolish the penalty rates on holidays for low paid hospitality and retail workers.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“The call by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the Barnett Government to abolish penalty rates for working on public holidays is just dressing up a pay cut as “economic reform”.
“It is illogical and unfair and employers should get a life.
“If you have to work on a holiday, it’s not a holiday.
“Of course cutting penalty rates would only cut the already low pay of mostly hospitality and retail workers. This would hurt.
“But penalty rates also help limit the intrusion of work on shared time with family and friends or just time out to relax.
“The economics is clear – if it’s cheaper for employers to make people work on holidays, then more will have to work on holidays and at lower pay.
“That means low paid working people will have to work longer and more irregular hours to make up for a pay cut.
“Nothing makes up for shared time with family and friends or just time out to relax.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA Submission to the Economic Regulatory Authority Inquiry into Microeconomic Reform is available here (the reference to cutting pay for working on holidays is on page 28).