Will Business Boom on Sundays?
After some two years of consideration, in a landmark ruling by the Fair Work Commission, Sunday and public holiday penalty rates have been cut for the hospitality, fast food and retail sectors.
Full-time and part-time workers in retail will have their Sunday penalty rates dropped from 200% to 150% of their standard hourly rate, while casuals will go from 200% to 175%.
For hospitality employees, there will be a reduction in Sunday pay from 175% to 150%, while casuals’ pay in this sector will remain unchanged.
In the fast food industry, full-time and part-time staff will see rates drop from 150% of base rate to 125% on Sundays and Casuals will drop from 175% of the base rate to 150%.
For many years now employer advocates have been pushing for a reduction to penalty rates on Sundays on the basis that they are too high and have no place in a 24/7, seven-day-a-week economy. They have gone on to argue that these penalty rates have penalised some businesses’ trading as they have made it prohibitive to open on Sundays and public holidays, thereby leaving them unable to compete with larger businesses and chains.
The unions argue that the penalty rates should remain as compensation for people to give up time with loved ones to work on Sundays and public holidays.
So will this cut result in more businesses trading on Sundays and public holidays or has the Commission not gone far enough?