The Canberra Business Chamber hopes the recent penalty rates decision by the Fair Work Commission helps create new jobs, especially for young Australians.
“This is not an abolition of penalty rates, but a reduction in the Sunday and public holiday loading for the hospitality and retail sectors,” Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry explained.
“Many businesses do not open on Sundays and public holidays, and they tell us that one of the main reasons for this decision is because staffing costs are so much higher.
“With Australians becoming more used to being able to shop and eat out every day of the week, you can understand why businesses want weekend penalty rates which reflect the change in consumer habits and expectations.”
Canberra Business Chamber believes this rebalancing of penalty rates will help make it possible for more businesses to open on a Sunday, hence increasing their levels of employment.
In its inquiry into the Workplace Relations Framework, the Productivity Commission found lowering Sunday penalty rates would lead to considerable growth in hours worked.
“The retail and hospitality sectors are significant employers of young adults, particularly students who are seeking part time work they can fit around their studies,” Ms Hendry said.
“We have an underemployment challenge in this country and the Chamber is confident the increased Sunday trading that will stem from this decision will make more hours and jobs available.
“It has to be noted that this decision does not come into force immediately. There will be a transition period, during which people currently employed on Sundays can talk to their employer about how the new rates will impact on them and businesses can consider what this change means for them.
“I look forward to seeing more local businesses open on Sunday; more opportunities for people looking for a job; and more Canberrans enjoying some retail therapy, meeting friends for a drink or meal at a hotel, or being able to grab some take away because they don’t feel like cooking.”
Any business with questions about the new penalty rates should call the Chamber’s Workplace Relations Hotline on 1300 277 881.