The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, has renewed its calls for a new approach to penalty rates.

Throughout the course of this year, the NSW Business Chamber has been actively pursuing an Application before Fair Work Australia to vary the structure of penalty rates in the restaurant and catering industry.
 
“I have taken great interest in the comments attributed to the Chief Executive of Myer, surrounding the future of a number of his retail outlets, and how weekend penalty rates are impacting on their business,” said Ben Foley, Murray-Riverina NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager.
 
“What people don’t seem to realise is the lure of penalty rates disappear if a business is closed.
 
“Staff only get paid if the doors of a business are open – if it’s too expensive for owners to open on a Sunday, not only do staff not get penalty rates, they won’t get any payment.
 
“It is simply becoming unaffordable to be expected to pay staff penalty rates on a Sunday, retain the same prices for goods and services, and still make a profit.
 
“Under our current submission to Fair Work Australia, the sixth time someone gets out of bed and goes to work they will be paid a higher premium for their time regardless of the day. This removes the distortion for Saturdays and Sundays, and better rewards the commitment of employees to a business.
 
“The Federal Government has an inflexible approach to workplace regulation that is slowly strangling the life out of businesses and we have to change it before it does further damage to employment,” Mr Foley said.