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How the penalty rates decision hurts women

24 February 2017

The long-awaited decision comes after a Productivity Commission report handed down in late 2015, which described Sunday penalty rates as "anachronistic".

Full-time and part-time and employees will have their penalty rates reduced from 200% to 150% of their regular hourly rate, while casual employees will be cut less, from 200% to 175%.

Business groups have used the past six months to argue their position that working on a Sunday does not put more of a burden on workers than any other day of the week.

AMMA welcomes today's decision by the Fair Work Commission to reduce Sunday Penalty Rates from double-time (200%) to time-and-a-half (150%) for most industries.

Up to 700,000 workers, including some of the lowest paid who need the penalty loading to survive, are affected. "You times that by eight [for a full day] - where are you going to make that payment up?" she said.

"Bill Shorten promised he would accept the independent umpire's decision no matter what it decided."This is Bill Shorten's decision: he initiated it, he backed it, he owns it".

For others, the extra money earned on Sundays and public holidays amounts to a liveable wage.

"Maurice Blackburn stands with the union movement in supporting better outcomes for all working Australians and more enlightened government policy", he added.

'There should be something extra [for workers]'.

She said she had spoken to many employers, especially in rural and regional Australia, "who are unable to open on a Sunday ... they will now be able to be open on a Sunday".

"It will be hard to swallow for employees who have had the benefit of double time in the past".

"We will do everything in our power in the parliament and the courts to remedy this bad decision", Mr Shorten told reporters in Sydney this afternoon.

'If there were more people working, they'll be able to serve customers like me more efficiently'.

The FWC delivered its highly anticipated decision on the future of weekend penalty rates in Melbourne, following months of extensive industry consultations, evidence submissions and political interference.

"For Canberra it will affect retail, fast food, hospitality workers who will face up to a $6000 pay cut", Mr White said.

In fast food, the commission aligned weekend rates for level 1 employees, the overwhelming majority of the industry, by cutting Sunday rates from 150 per cent to the Saturday rate of 125 per cent.

Full-time and part-time employees covered by the Pharmacy Award will no longer be paid "double time" for shifts between 7am and 9pm.

If you still work in retail, hospitality or the pharmacy industry, or your children or grandchildren do, then things are about to change for them.

'Now what the commission is trying to do is to get less reliance on casuals and more reliance on full-time and part-time employees'.

Minister for employment Michaelia Cash said the decision would lead to longer trading hours, which would benefit the unemployed.

Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross said Sunday penalty rates would still be higher than for Saturdays.

"We can not build a strong and fair economy on the misguided premise that people should need to turn to charity to top up their inadequate incomes".