Media Releases

Penalty Rates

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said union claims workers in Grey will “lose millions” when penalty rate changes are in place are simply ridiculous.

 “These claims are a deliberate campaign undermining Fair Work Australia’s decision on penalty rates and it is simply laughable that the McKell Institute, union funded and led by an ex Labor MP says workers in Grey stand to lose $14m,”Mr Ramsey said.

“Anyone who has travelled past Gepps Cross would know there is very little open in retail and hospitality in the Grey electorate on Sundays and Public Holidays.

“The exceptions are the big chains like Coles, Woolworths, McDonalds and KFC, all with existing Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA’s) negotiated with relevant unions and that will remain unaffected. This fact was not taken into consideration in the McKell report.

 “The fact that these huge national companies have already negotiated lower rates of pay for these workers than those proposed by Fair Work Australia is an issue for the workers to take up with their unions, but certainly the secret deals exposed by the Heydon Royal Commission should have everyone asking just whose side they are on. Ironically the union deals give national chains a distinct advantage over our small businesses.”

Mr Ramsey said the Australian Chamber of Commerce said the research and assumptions of the McKell report are fundamentally flawed.

“It is easy to see why with more than half of the Grey electorate living in small country towns where virtually nothing is open on Sundays. These figures are absolutely without foundation,” he said.

“After two years of deliberations FWA has reduced the size of penalty rates on Sundays and Public Holidays because they consider the current rates are destroying job opportunities. I am often asked why more retail and hospitality are not open during these times and the answer is that wages are too high so businesses are forced to use family workers or close.

“The Fair Work Australia decision still mandates substantially higher loadings on Sundays and Public Holidays and anticipates the modest reduction will give employers the opportunities to extend trading hours and employ more of our young people thus stimulating local economies.”


Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 08 8633 1744

May 26 2017

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