As businesses would be aware, the Fair Work Commission has passed down its decision to vary a number of weekend penalty rates in a few Awards. The table (for which we are indebted to our colleague & associate, Tom Earls), shows the outcome of the decision, and the industries which have been affected.
The origin of penalty rates was to compensate workers for working what were deemed to be “unsociable hours”, and various penalties have formed part of Australia’s workplace and social evironment since 1947. The concept that Australians consider Sundays and public holidays as essential to relaxation and spending time with loved ones is, arguably, in these days, anachronistic.
Realistically we now live in a 24/7 world where consumer expectations are high and employees seek working arrangements which reflect their individual needs as well as those of business operators, within the context of changes in technology and consumer behaviour.
As part of the services provided by Rochforts Workplace Solutions, we have the personnel who can professionally advise business on how they can maximise the benefits which may (and I do emphasise “may”) arise as an outcome of the changes prior to their implementation date of July 1, 2017 and/or to minimise any less desirable ramifications.
Additionally, we can advise business to identify workplace practices which might be vulnerable should the Commission seek to extend the changes to other industries, which is a distinct possibility, as the Commission moves through its four-yearly review of the all Awards.
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