AHA Welcomes Penalty Rate Support from WA Government

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aha-logoThe AHA(WA) is encouraged by comments made by WA Premier Colin Barnett that a re-elected Liberal/Coalition government will address the exorbitantly high penalty rates that are depriving the community of services and workers of the opportunity to work.
Australian Hotels Association (WA) CEO, Bradley Woods, says the AHA is not arguing against penalty rates, but rather their excessive levels.
“Restaurants, pubs, hotels, retailers and service providers have consistently indicated that they would be more prepared to trade and hire extra staff if the penalties for opening on weekends and on public holidays weren’t so excessive.
“The AHA(WA) supports penalty rates for Sundays and public holidays at a Saturday rate, which is 150% of a worker’s hourly rate.
“The burden of penalty rates means that on Sundays and public holidays many small businesses can’t afford to open, meaning less productivity and less wages for local workers.
“It’s often the case that for businesses that do open on public holidays, costs have to be passed on to consumers,” said Mr. Woods.
High penalty rates are also limiting WA’s ability to become more internationally competitive.
“It is disappointing that at a time when WA needs to be focused on attracting more visitors, and travellers are expecting the highest level of service, the costs associated with penalty rates make it impossible for hotels to deliver the service levels they would like to,” said Mr Woods.
Australia’s economy has globalized and never sleeps, but our award system has failed to keep up and still bases its penalty regime around a Monday to Friday working week. Thousands of Australian jobs are being lost and hours of work are being reduced because some businesses cannot afford to open when penalty rates apply.
At a federal level, the review of the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 has been before the Fair Work Commission throughout 2015-16. The AHA(WA) has been closely involved in this process, making written submissions, collating evidence from members and briefing external legal counsel in relation to a number of aspects of the review.


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