Locking in Penalty Rates Does Nothing to Create Jobs

“The federal government’s proposed hard wiring of penalty rates in industrial relations laws will undermine the ability of all businesses – large, medium and small – to create jobs,” BCA President Tony Shepherd said.

“The proposal is a vote of no confidence by the government in the ability of the Fair Work Commission to independently assess minimum wages and conditions of employment,” Mr Shepherd said.

“If approved by the parliament the proposal will constrain the role of the Fair Work Commission to determine whether penalty rates are appropriate as part of industrial awards.

“The proposal is misguided because it will restrict the ability of both employers and employees to trade-off penalty rates for other benefits such as longer leave provisions or higher salaries.

“Just like the government’s proposal for compulsory arbitration of workplace disputes, the government is effectively saying we don’t trust that employees and their employers can agree on working arrangements that suit their particular needs.

“If we want to be able to grow jobs and opportunities for Australians in the future in an increasingly competitive world we need to make it easier, not harder, to put in place working arrangements that are suited to individual enterprise needs.

“More regulation and restrictions in the economy are not the recipe for a prosperous future or the creation of jobs,” he said.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 | Mobile 0403 241 128