The Federal Opposition’s position
- The Federal Opposition submits that penalty rates continue to be a fundamental part of a strong safety net for Australian workers, enabling low income workers and workers in highly-casualised industries to share in the nation’s economic prosperity.
- The Federal Opposition submits that, in the context of current economic circumstances and in the interests of supporting inclusive and fair growth, any changes to the modern awards should not cut the take home pay of affected workers.
- We submit that the Commission’s decision should be one that firmly supports a fair and economically modern award system. We submit that penalty rates are necessary to maintain “relative living standards and the needs of the low paid”. We also maintain that penalty rates support demand in an economy in transition and are consistent with helping to deliver better productivity performance and increasing competitiveness of the national economy.
- Our submission also highlights the current threat to living standards and the growth in inequality that is occurring under the policy settings of the Government – specifically those announced in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 Budget.
See the full submission below or download it here