"The AWR increase of 3.3% recently awarded by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) is hefty and out of step with average wage movements across the economy. The increase applies to all industries. In contrast, the Sunday penalty rate adjustments apply only to the fast food, retail and hospitality industries. The adjustments apply only on one day of the week. The result of the 1 July changes is beyond doubt – workers in all industries will be better off, and businesses will face added cost pressures.
"Ai Group represented the fast food industry in the FWC's major Penalty Rates Case and we are representing the industry in the current Federal Court proceedings in which the unions are trying to have the decision overturned. The FWC's decision is evidence-based and it is vital that the decision stands. We will argue strongly in the Court proceedings that the FWC made no errors in its decision. We will also continue to argue in the public debate that the decision of the industrial umpire needs to stand and must not be interfered with by ill-conceived legislative proposals such as the Bills proposed by Labor and the Greens.
"In the fast food industry, the Sunday penalty rates are being reduced tomorrow by only 5%:
- For full-time and part-time employees, the rate is being reduced from 150% to 145%.
- For casual employees, the rate is being reduced from 175% to 170%.
"Employees typically work on more than one day of the week; not just on Sundays. Therefore, in all industries they are going to have their wages boosted to a much greater extent by the 3.3% AWR increase, than any adjustment in the Sunday penalty rate.
"It is time for the facts about these issues to be understood, and for the oft-repeated fallacies about the Penalty Rates Decision to be recognised for what they are – a deliberately mischievous union scare campaign," Mr Willox said.
Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347