Liberal candidate for the seat of Dunkley Chris Crewther once advocated that businesses move to a “flexible penalty rates” model, which would remove weekend penalty rates. In a document prepared by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s small business taskforce last year, of which Crewther was a part, it is recommended that businesses be able to move to a model where penalty rates are only paid if a person works more than five days in a week.

“As an alternative, introduce flexible weekend penalty rates, whereby current penalty rates paid on Saturdays and Sundays would instead be paid on any sixth or seventh day of the week worked by an employee. This change recognises the fact that we live in a more flexible society where the preferred days of rest are no longer necessarily Saturday or Sunday. This change would retain current penalty rates and continue to provide a weekend guarantee for each employee (as an employer would have to pay penalty rates to an employee who works six or seven days per week),while giving businesses the flexibility to structure their employment arrangements such that they can open on Saturdays and Sundays without incurring penalty rates.”

Crewther is one of 12 authors on the report, but he claims it as his own idea on his LinkedIn page. Penalty rates are one of the major issues being pushed by the unions, who are targeting the seat formerly held by Bruce Billson. Crikey contacted Crewther to ask about his views on penalty rates, but didn’t hear back by deadline.

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

Choose what you pay, from $99.

Sign up now

I subscribe to Crikey because I believe in a free, open and independent media where news and opinions can be published that I can both agree with and be challenged by.

As a Crikey subscriber I always feel more informed and able to think more critically about issues and current affairs – even when they don’t always reflect my own political viewpoint or lived experience.


Join us and save up to 50%

Subscribe before June 30 and choose what you pay for a year of Crikey. Save up to 50% or, chip in extra and get one of our limited edition Crikey merch packs.

Join Now