Natalie Hutchins: Protect Holiday Penalty Rates, Victorian Government Urges
With thousands of Victorians relying on penalty rates during the holiday period, the Federal Government is being urged not to attack the wages and conditions of the most vulnerable and low paid workers.
The Productivity Commission’s Workplace Relations Framework inquiry report was recently provided to the Federal Government, with a response expected in the coming weeks.
The Productivity Commission’s interim report, released in August, recommended a range of changes, including cuts to penalty rates for those working in hospitality and retail.
Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins said Prime Minister Turnbull had refused to rule out cuts to penalty rates, and despite claims the inquiry would not impact on wages and conditions, the Terms of Reference had been established by the Federal Government.
She said thousands of workers received penalty rates over the Christmas period, compensating them for time away from their loved ones.
Similarly, she said, many relied on penalty rates to be able to put food on the table, put petrol in the car and pay their bills.
Employees unsure of their correct pay are urged to use the Fair Work Ombudsman Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) available at http://calculate.fairwork.gov.au.
Ms Hutchins said that once the Federal Government released a response to the inquiry, the Victorian Government would seek feedback from the state’s workers on the impact of any proposed changes.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins
“The thousands of workers who rely on penalty rates shouldn’t have to worry about an attack on their wages, particularly ahead of Christmas.”
“I call on the Federal Government to confirm that the wages and conditions of thousands of Victorian workers won’t be on the chopping block.”
“For many of us, the holiday period is a chance to spend time with friends and family. For those who are working, it’s important they are adequately compensated.”