'Loaded' hourly rates could replace penalty rates

DO YOU rely on penalty rates to provide for your family on a weekly basis?

Changes to your pay packet could be underway after the Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross signalled that retail and takeaway workers would give up penalty rates for a higher hourly pay rate.

Facts show Gladstone people pay the premium for essential goods.
Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
Facts show Gladstone people pay the premium for essential goods. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer Paul Braven GLA221015SHOP

Mr Ross, speaking at a summit led by the Australian Retailers Association yesterday, said a new payment system could be developed that allowed employers to "load" normal hourly rates in place of penalty rates for Saturday and Sunday shifts.

Mr Ross said a boost to hourly pay rates in favour of weekend penalty rates could make running a small business less complicated.

"There would need to be appropriate safeguards and interested parties would be given an opportunity to comment on any proposal," Mr Ross was reported saying in the Courier Mail.

Mr Ross said the Fair Work Commission had received 6000 submissions from the public into the inquiry on retail award wages.

It's understood that under this new system, normal hourly rates could be boosted by as much as 25%.

Options for changing the pay structure of many Australians was a hot topic prior to the federal election, with the Labor Party taking exception to the idea of bringing Sunday penalty rates into line with Saturday rates of pay.



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