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The ACT Government has slammed the Fair Work Commission’s decision to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for hospitality, retail and fast food workers.

Today’s decision that comes into effect in July means affected workers will lose up to $6000 a year.

“There’s no evidence that cutting penalty rates will create new jobs for Canberrans, but we know it will cut the take home pay of some of our lowest paid and most vulnerable workers,” Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said.

“Hardworking Canberrans in these industries will see a significant reduction in their pay packet from July 2017.”

Minister Stephen-Smith said many Canberrans will now need to recalculate their pay packets to work out what they can no longer afford.

“For some this will mean no longer being able to pay for essentials like rent or utilities.”

UnionsACT have also expressed their outrage.

Secretary Alex White said Canberrans who work on weekends deserve to be paid accordingly.

“Saturdays and Sundays are still special in Australia – they are not like other days. People who work on weekends sacrifice time with friends and family,” he said.

Polling commissioned by UnionsACT found eight in ten Canberrans support weekend penalty rates.


Image Credit - supplied

The Canberra Business Chamber have taken a different view.

“Businesses have told us for a long time that it impacts on their decision to employ others. So sometimes you’ll find the owner of the businesses in there working, where they would have much rathered to employ someone but haven’t because of those higher rates,” CEO Robyn Hendry said.

“This is the minimum rate under those laws that you need to pay. But of course, if you’re paying more than that now, and you’re comfortable in terms of the viability, continue to do so.”

What do you think about today’s decision? Have your say at our Facebook page.

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