'Happy medium': How penalty rate cuts will affect Gladstone businesses
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.
Up to one million workers across those industries will have their penalty rates cut by 25 to 50% after the long-awaited decision yesterday.
Full-time and part-time hospitality workers will have Sunday rates slashed from 175% to 150%. Sunday rates for casuals will remain at 175%.
MIePlace Nightclub owner Aodhan McCann said the decision was a "happy medium” for his business but he did sympathise with staff.
"It would be disappointing for staff ... but it won't have a huge effect on me,” Mr McCann said.
"Sunday isn't a day we make a lot out of but (for staff) every time you lose money it makes it harder.”
Fulltime and part-time retail workers will have Sunday rates reduced from 200% to 150%, while casuals will be reduced from 200% to 175%.
For pharmacy workers, Sunday rates for work between 7am and 9pm will be reduced from 200% to 150% for fulltime and part-time, while casuals will be reduced from 200% to 175%.
Public holiday rates have also been cut from 250% to 225% for fulltime and part-time hospitality, restaurant, retail, fast-food, and pharmacy workers.
Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Carl Carter said he didn't think there were any "real winners” out of the cuts.
"Personally I don't like to see any employees' wages reduced ... but with businesses struggling to stay afloat with other business related costs continuing to escalate, and customers' disposable incomes reduced, I feel FWC has reached a reasonable compromise,” he said.
"Both employers and employees are doing it tough... but I doubt that a small reduction in wages will result in any more of them opening on Sundays or opening longer.”