The effects of the Abbott Government’s attack on penalty rates have been revealed, with hundreds of thousands of Victorian workers set to suffer.

As the Productivity Commission continues its review of penalty rates, the Andrews Labor Government has released new figures showing how many Victorian workers rely on penalty rates. They include:

• 374,000 employees who usually work Saturdays in their main job
• 213,000 employees who usually work Sundays in their main job
• 328,000 employees who usually work paid overtime in their job
• 157,000 employees who usually work between 7pm and 7am

Case studies show that a Victorian machinery operator could to lose up to $428 a week, an effective pay cut of 32.8 per cent, while a retail employee could lose up to $300 a week, a 24.5 per cent cut.

While the Andrews Labor Government will always stand up for penalty rates, a Victorian Liberal Government has never and will never fight for workers. Scrapping penalty rates would hit public servants hard, and could cost an Ambulance Attendant up to $233 a week, an effective pay cut of 22.5 per cent.

The Victorian figures are based on national level data, adjusted for the state’s share of workers. Figures of weekly pay loss are based on a 38 hour working week, including a Saturday, a Sunday and one night shift, in addition to three hours of overtime.

Premier Daniel Andrews said the true effects of changes to penalty rates would form part of the Labor Government’s submission to the Productivity Commission.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“If the Abbott Government changes penalty rates, hundreds of thousands of Victorian workers will be worse off.”

“Many hardworking families factor penalty rates into the household budget. Many young people rely on them to get through the fortnight.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations, Natalie Hutchins

“Changing penalty rates is about reducing our standard of living and attacking our way of life.”

“If Eric Abetz says penalty rates are off the table, then why did the Abbott Government ask the Productivity Commission to look into pay and conditions for employees? This is just an attempt to sneak a revival of WorkChoices through the backdoor.”

“With the threat to penalty rates combined with high national unemployment, the Abbott Government is further dividing the workforce into the haves and have nots.”

Media Contact: Chris Piper 0458 715 135 |