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Weekend penalty rates

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by Bayview, 5th Aug, 2015.

  1. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Lots of discussion this week in the news about Sunday penalty rates being altered to be the same as the Saturday rates.

    Depending who you talk to, it is bad or good.

    As an employer, I'll always say it's bad because it is an extra cost that eats into profits and ultimately means less staff employed, or less hours available for more staff.

    So, less folks can get access to work they would probably be happy to do - albeit at a reduced rate (but still better than normal rate).

    In a world where jobs are disappearing, this would be a good compromise.

    However, when you talk to the anti-change crowd, their view is their rights are being eroded, and the argument is that many existing employees won't do the work for a reduction in pay rate. That's fair enough too....noone likes to see their hourly rate reduced.

    In the case of nursing (my wife is one) many nurses will still do those hours despite a change of rate, but many won't, so for that industry it is a problem looming - less staff; less beds available.

    In the case of the hospitality industry, many restaurants are already closing on that day due to higher costs. Some have argued that if they were open they would be busier and hence would make more money.

    This is the perception, but not necessarily how it works. If it was true, then those restaurants/cafes that are closed wouldn't be closed.

    My view is; leave the rates as they are, and let the business in question decide how they approach it.

    Stay open and charge a surcharge or not as they deem acceptable, or close.
     
  2. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    I would go further and say penalty rates should be abolished all together. If you want to work the extra hours then do it if not just work Monday to Friday. I seriously doubt most people who "need the overtime" wouldn't just do it anyway if it was the same rate as M-F.
     
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  3. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    As a retail worker, I get nothing extra for Saturday but Sunday is time and a half.

    To say "if you want to work the extra hours" doesn't really cut it. If you want a job you cop the hours you are asked to work. I love Sundays, shorter opening time, higher pay. If I told my boss that I don't want to work weekends, I would be told "bye bye".

    I like my work, so I don't mind at all, and hubby is retired so every day for us is a "weekend". But others who are rostered on the weekends just don't see their partners for days at a time.
     
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  4. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a slippery slope back to Work Choices but done incrementally. Over time, penalty rates will be abolished from emergency services.

    Having worked with mum and dad retailers over the years, the smart ones worked the week ends and took time off during the week. The not so smart did not and whinged about how unfair penalty rates are.
     
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  5. AndrewTDP

    AndrewTDP Urban Planning Consultant Business Member

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    Strikes me as slightly sociopathic to expect service industry workers to cater for your desires on a weekend (meaning they don't get a weekend with everyone else) without fairly compensating them for it.

    Let alone paramedics, cops, etc. Selfish blighters. Not caring about the taxpayer.

    It's a cost of doing business. You build that in to your costs.
     
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  6. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Saturdays and Sundays were the days many of my young food service employees were prone to hangovers. I let them know it wasn't welcome when it happened. The penalty rates helped ensure they took it easy the night before.

    As @AndrewTDP said, it's a cost of doing business.
     
  7. Mombius Hibachi

    Mombius Hibachi Well-Known Member

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    This is what I thought when I heard about it. Immediately I was like "Salaries are priced into the cost of products/services." When I was at trade school, this was part of the curriculum - learning how to determine the price for a dish to be added to the menu.

    Hospitality/retail are cut throat areas. You provide a great service, you'll do alright. If you don't (booting someone out of your shop over a $25 puncture repair, for example) you're likely to struggle at best or go out of business at worst.

    An interesting couple of points that a manager/owner made on the ABC today were:

    1. It is not likely to create more jobs - employers will just ask existing staff to work more hours.
    2. The best staff will stop working Sundays, as there is no benefit to them to do so.
     
  8. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    Two points on this -

    Even with a great service, in retail, there is no guarantee that "you'll do alright".

    Staff simply cannot pick and choose. If you want a job, you work Sunday if the boss asks you to. If you don't want to work Sundays, you will likely be out of a job. Why should other staff give up their Sunday and work to carry someone else who doesn't wish to give it up. It just won't happen in most retail jobs.
     
  9. 2FAST4U

    2FAST4U Well-Known Member

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    I agree! I worked in fast food during the Work Choices era and I got paid at a flat rate regardless of what time of the day it was, and regardless of what day it was (public holidays were the only exceptions). At the time I just thought that was normal and was bewildered a few years later when I heard of people getting paid double time for working on Sundays!

    I would like to see this applied beyond retail though. For example one of my cousins works at Holden’s. His regular wage is around $28 an hour yet on Sunday’s he gets paid $56 an hour even though he’s doing exactly the same job. As for the argument ‘people won’t want to work on Sundays than’ it doesn’t have much merit because if they aren’t willing to there is always somebody else that is. Similarly healthcare is costing Australia a fortune. Yet nurses receive penalty rates for working weekends.

    I don’t necessarily believe that employers are suddenly going to go on a hiring spree but it would give them more incentives to open for longer hours. If it was applied industry wide it would help manufacturers because a lot of them don’t have any option but to produce 24/7 e.g glass factories. It would save millions of tax payer’s money with police and nurses. People don’t like to hear the hard truth’s but the Productivity Commission is correct with this. As I said it might not lead to more jobs being created, however, it will almost certainly lead to more jobs being preserved.
     
  10. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    There were workplace agreements which allowed for no penalty rates, but the normal hourly rate was adjusted upward to give around the same wage bill for a year. If penalty rates were abolished its possible that a similar thing would happen.
     
  11. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    Agree on abolishing penalty rates. I think it'd help boost employment or reduce welfare expenditure if businesses could afford to stay open on weekends. There's plenty of people willing to do a couple of shifts a week (students, stay at home parents, investors looking for additional serviceability:p) at standard rate but can't as employers bottom line is affected by paying double for labor.
     
  12. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Surely tongue in cheek?

    Damn those selfish paramedics, nurses, cops...out there saving lives, getting spat at, verbally and physically abused on a daily basis...saving lives.
     
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  13. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

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    I would ditch penalty rates altogether. Our unskilled wages costs are far too high in Australia, all that does is push the cost of living up and kill the gap between skilled labour and unskilled. You only need look at how UK and Australia have swapped, the UK was very dear in the 2000 compared to Australia and now it has swapped.
     
  14. Harro

    Harro Well-Known Member

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    I am not too sure people working Night Shifts would agree to having penalty rates removed across the board.
     
  15. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    I would have thought that the price of a product is determined by the market as well, and the overall turnover of the business. Some items can command very high mark-ups, some cannot.

    Hospitality requires great service, but also a great product.

    Most folks will quote the quality of the food at XYZ as their reason to go back or not, and the service second.

    We have an Indian restaurant near us, that we have been going to since 1998. The food is fabulous and good value, but the owner who is also the main waitress is a "Basil Faulty" type whose demeanor goes as cold as a mother-in-law's stare when you pull out a CC to pay the bill.

    It's quite funny. But, we still go back because now and again she is ok, we like to support local,,,and the food is always great.

    You're still bangin' on about that puncture incident. As I've told you already, Mark - it is ONE isolated and extreme event. You don't know me, or see what I do the other 99.9% of my year.

    The bloke was a feral, trying to be a rude ******, never a previous regular customer and never likely to be one, and I'm still in business, thanks.

    If I "Basil Faulty" every customer like that then yes; I'd be done by now. But I don't.

    By removing the penalty, it is arguable that it will create more jobs; I would think that for many places that are closed, or considering closing due to the cost versus return for that day's trading; a removal will tempt those places to reopen, and provide extra work hours previously not available/about to become unavailable to anyone who wants to work them.

    The best Staff might still work on the Sunday, because they may need the money desperately, or they may not, and the Owner has the option to offer the work to others who are interested.

    Many won't, and then the owner has to make a decision about whether to bother trying to stay open and battle with staff availability issues, or simply not bother.

    When the premises closes; noone wins.
     
    Last edited: 6th Aug, 2015
  16. 2FAST4U

    2FAST4U Well-Known Member

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    We've got a budget emergency we can't afford it!
    We don't want to become the next Greece:p
     
  17. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Using my industry as an example; I could in theory open 7 days a week (as long as we could get deliveries of parts and tyres, etc - currently we cannot).

    But, if I had to pay the staff double time to be open, the result is likely to be a dollar-swapping exercise between the customer, me and the suppliers/ATO, more Workcare premium (this is based on yearly wage bill), more Superannuation, and virtually no profit. No point being there.

    Same on Public Hols, but to a lesser degree staff cost wise.

    The reason is; staff can only produce so much work per hour.

    I can't pass on that extra cost to the customer.

    This is the case with many businesses, and in the case of retail; they already try to operate with less staff to curb the cost and maintain a decent level of profit for the day.
     
  18. Tim86

    Tim86 Well-Known Member

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    I work every single Saturday and every single sunday every single week.

    Would I give up all of my weekends for no extra money? No.

    I think a reduction in penalty rates could be warranted. For example I would still work a sunday for time and three quarters, and I would still work a Saturday for time and a half. Right now I get time and three quarters for a Saturday and double time on a sunday.

    Also public holidays being paid at double time and a half seems a bit much to me. I think it should only be double time.
     
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  19. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    I reckon that is fair enough too.

    I reckon; let the Boss decide whether it's viable for him/her to be open; factoring in that cost.

    We made that decision at our workshop; used to be open Sat mornings until 12.00pm.

    Based on the total gross profit for each Saturday; it was not worth the few extra dollars for me to lose half my day off.
     
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  20. M & S

    M & S Member

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    If public holiday penalties were reduced and paid as double time, there would be no benefit to working them IMHO.

    For example - Most who do shift work over a seven day rotating roster, get paid on the public holiday even if they aren't rostered to work it. By working the public holiday, they're getting the same pay as someone who isn't working yet still working their rostered hours that week/fortnight.

    If A works 7 shifts per fortnight, not working the PH will give A 7 shifts + 1 PH (not on roster) = paid equivalent of 8 shifts.

    Alternatively B works 7 shifts per fortnight, including the PH = 6 shifts + 1 PH (double time pay) = paid equivalent 8 shifts.
     
    Last edited: 5th Aug, 2015