Fair Work Australia is currently carrying out a review of Modern Awards in the restaurant and Hospitality industry. Restaurant and Hotel employer associations have recently launched an application for penalty rates to be massively slashed and only available to those who have worked five consecutive days – regardless of when they fall in the week. They have also requested that employers classed as small business be allowed to pay as low as the federal minimum wage – $15.98 an hour.
United Voice, the union that represents restaurant and hospitality workers is strongly opposing the changes arguing that workers should always be compensated for having to work on weekends rather than spend time with their friends or family. They have pointed out that hospitality workers are a highly casualised workforce and often underemployed and that penalty rates often provide some much needed security for workers in increasingly insecure employment.
To discuss this and how young workers can fight for fair pay we were joined by Anne Purdy from The Young Workers’ Legal Service.