UNCERTAIN: Torquay Hotel staff (from left) Katie Morris, Kristin Buckley and Blaine Polit are unsure what the penalty rate changes will mean for them.
UNCERTAIN: Torquay Hotel staff (from left) Katie Morris, Kristin Buckley and Blaine Polit are unsure what the penalty rate changes will mean for them. Alistair Brightman

Penalty rate cuts could mean more staff

THE Fair Work Commission decision to slash penalty rates is a step in the right direction according to the general manager of a local hotel.

Union groups have warned some workers could lose up to $6000 a year after the Fair Work Commission agreed to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for hospitality, restaurant, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers.

While Darren Carter, from the Torquay Hotel doesn't know exactly how the news will impact his business at this stage, he believes workers need to be paid penalty rates on Sunday but the double time isn't viable for his business.

"We've had to cut back casual staff and try not to do any promotions on a Sunday due to the higher wages, it just isn't viable," he said.

Do you agree with the cut to penalty rates?

This poll ended on 26 February 2017.

Current Results

Yes

26%

No - they should cut further

7%

No - they shouldn't be cut at all

65%

I don't know

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Fulltime and part-time hospitality workers will have Sunday rates slashed from 175 per cent to 150 per cent. Sunday rates for casuals will remain at 175 per cent.

Fulltime and part-time level one fast-food workers will have Sunday penalty rates reduced from 150 per cent to 125 per cent, but level two and three employees will stay at 150 per cent.

If this is the case for his business Mr Carter said he could look at employing more staff and promotions.

"We could look at doing more promotions on a weekend if penalties are cut," Mr Carter said.

He said it would have a positive impact on other little businesses near his hotel that are struggling to survive on weekends.

"A lot of these businesses are forced to charge surcharge just to keep up with wages," he said.

Over Christmas Mr Carter said he had friends from outside the region and they struggled to find a bakery open due to the high penalty rates.



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