COSBOA has provided a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Fair Work Act and penalty rates. COSBOA supports the proposed changes to penalty rates.
Peter Strong, patient Executive Director of COSBOA said today “there are businesses out there that have been forced to close due to the high penalty rates imposed upon them and upon their employees. People who were happy with their pay rates have lost their jobs which begs the question why is having no job at all better than getting paid $15 or even $24 an hour? Who decided that university students, school students and other people were better off with no income than receiving $24 an hour for working on a Sunday?”
COSBOA notes that the high penalty rates are also affecting the health of business owners in large shopping centres who are working six and seven days a week due to the landlord forcing them to open and the high penalty rates and low sales making employing other people prohibitive .
Mr Strong added “this situation also creates ethical issues for people in retail and cafes and restaurants, often the only place for students and others to work in regional centres. The employees or potential employees are willing to accept less than double time to work on a Sunday. The employer has to make a choice of supporting the employee with a job and breaking the rules or following the rules and letting down that employee and the general community. These are people who often can only work weekends so why are they being punished?”
Mr Strong also added “we do not want to pay low wages, we work next to our employees, they are actually our co workers, and we know they were happy with the old rates or would be happy just to have a job. Why can’t common sense prevail and the people who need jobs and want those jobs be allowed to take those jobs on their terms. Times and society have changed and the workplace relations system must catch up with those changes.” See COSBOA’s submission to the Senate inquiry