For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 19 May 2013.
In an application before the Fair Work Commission, industry group Restaurant and Catering Australia has recommended changes to penalty rates for hospitality sector employees that would severely restrict Sunday family time for workers, and enable businesses to employ staff in ways that effectively eliminate penalty rates for working unusual hours.
In a bid to keep costs down, employees would be paid standard award wages for the first five shifts in any week, and then attract penalty rates for the sixth and subsequent shifts over any seven day period.
Effectively, the business lobby wants people to work at 3am at ordinary time, and only time and a half when you do a seventh straight day.
If the plans are approved, hospitality industry workers can say goodbye to quality weekend family time, and possibly even penalty rates altogether. Which seems to me both economically counter-productive and morally unjust.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.