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Penalty rates cut again: Here’s how your paypacket has been affected

Jessica Yun
Penalty rates have been slashed again on 1 July 2019, making it the third year in a row. (Photos: Getty)
Penalty rates have been slashed again on 1 July 2019, making it the third year in a row. (Photos: Getty)

Around 700,000 low-paid Australian workers working weekends, public holidays, evenings or late nights have been dealt another blow as penalty rates drop another 10-15 per cent.

Penalty rate cuts have been falling every year since 1 July 2017, making it the third pay cut in as many years, and will keep falling until 2020 in some industries.

Full-time and part-time retail workers will see Sunday pay drop to 165 per cent from 180 per cent, while full-time and part-time employees of the hospitality industry will see their pay rate from to 150 per cent, down from 160 per cent.

Here are all the changes to Sunday penalty rates from 1 July 2019:

All the changes to Sunday penalty rates from 2017 to 2020. (Source: Johnson Winter & Slattery)
All the changes to Sunday penalty rates from 2017 to 2020. (Source: Johnson Winter & Slattery)

“This latest 10 to 15 per cent cut means many workers will lose thousands of dollars from their pay packets this financial year,” said shadow minister for industrial relations Tony Burke.

“Some workers will be up to $26,0000 worse off by the time these cuts are fully implemented on July 1 next year.”

Workers are set to lose an estimated $2.9 billion all up, Burke added.

Penalty rates “are not a luxury”

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work chief economist Jim Stanford has spoken out against penalty rate cuts, arguing that wage hikes were needed, not cuts.

“These continued reductions in penalty rates will just make things a little bit worse – because hundreds of thousands of Australian workers will have a little less money in their wallets,” he told Yahoo Finance.

“The claim that lower wages will lead to more jobs is just a lie.”

Penalty rates “are not a luxury”, Burke added.

“They help people put food on the table and petrol in the car.”

“They can make the difference for people struggling to pay the electricity bill, the private health insurance premiums or child care costs – all of which keep soaring under this government.”

Mixed messages

Today sends mixed messages, with 1 July also marking the day minimum wage increases to $19.49, which will provide low-paid workers with some amount of relief.

But it’s also the same day that politicians get a 2 per cent pay rise, according to a decision made by the Independent Remuneration Tribunal.

This means Prime Minister Scott Morrison will take home a bonus $10,769 this year on top of his current pay packet of $538,460 a year.

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