Hospitality Workers Take Pay Cut For Sunday Work

Image: Johannes Simon/Getty.

The restaurant industry has won a long-running battle to cut Sunday penalty rates with the Fair Work Commission deciding yesterday to reduce Sunday loadings for casual staff from 175% to 150% from July 1 this year.

Employer group Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has run a two-year battle to reduce penalty rates, appealing to the full bench of the FWC after deputy president Gooley rejected an R&CA application in October 2013.

R&CA CEO John Hart estimated that the industry would save around $112 million a year in wages

“Businesses that are currently shut on Sundays may re-consider closing – returning convenience to Sunday diners,” he said.

His group would continue to push for further changes to the award to reduce penalty rates when the FWC’s four-yearly review of awards returns.

The R&CA is seeking significant changes to penalty rates, classification structure and payment of wages under the Restaurant Industry Award.

Meanwhile, Austrade, which is responsible for the sector, has told the Productivity Commission that the tourism and hospitality industry is facing a shortage of 56,000 workers next year unless foreign staff are introduced.

Austrade’s submission argued that government needs to take a more flexible approach to the temporary 457 visas to pay hospitality workers market rates rather than the $53,900 base salary the scheme has set.

“Austrade recommends the Commission consider how the 457 visa could better enable access to skilled workers in demand for the tourism industry, particularly in regional and remote areas and during peak seasonal periods,” the submission says.

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