On the penalty rates cut

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Nuance won’t cut it on penalty rates onslaught” (February 24)

The decision by Fair Work (what a misnomer) to reduce penalty rates appears to break the rules that Fair Work operates under. It is my understanding that no decision by any party ,i.e. unions, employers or Fair Work needs to exercise attention to “no detriment” for workers. Doesn’t this mean that reducing the overall pay and conditions to the detriment of workers is a clear breach of its mandate?

Every enterprise bargaining award will have to be negotiated again and guess what “no detriment” applies.

John Richardson writes: Re. “Nuance won’t cut it on penalty rates onslaught” (February 24)

Whether it’s your grandchild, your neighbour or any of the more than two million Australians now trying to survive in the endlessly insecure world of casual employment, the reality is that by cutting penalty rates we are simply further lining the pockets of greedy small business operators.

I remain amazed that none of our worldly-wise commentators seems willing to challenge the phoney claims of these supposed “business” people that they can’t afford to open on Sundays because their wage costs are too high. A small business is no different to any other business except in terms of its scale. At its simplest, it trades across the entire year & its profitability is a function of its total revenue less its total costs.

To suggest that reducing labour costs on a Sunday will give rise to more employment is as fanciful, cruel & dishonest as Malcolm Trumble’s promise that a $50b tax cut to business will deliver an economic nirvana to those at the bottom of the pile. I wonder how many of these altruistic business operators will decide to remove their Sunday “Surcharges” allegedly intended to offset their higher wages costs, or will they continue to pick our pockets with that as well?

Peter Fray

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