Sundays are sacred.
And not just for the religious among us.
Sunday is a day of rest and recuperation. A day of spending quality time with family and friends. A day that finally provides that bit of time you need to get to an odd-job around the house, or do some exercise, or go shopping, or cook up a big batch of meals to get you through the busy week ahead.
For many reasons, Sundays are special.
Which is why people who work on Sundays get paid more per hour than they would working a weekday.
Because if they weren’t working, we wouldn’t be able to brunch, shop, catch public transport, or be attended to at hospital if we had a medical emergency.
But now, the government wants to ditch penalty rates.
Here’s everything you need to know:
What is a penalty rate?
Employees often get paid a higher rate for working overtime and early or late shifts and weekends and public holidays.
The Sunday penalty rate – which Malcolm Turnbull has said is obsolete and will inevitably be reduced – is double the regular hourly rate.
Saturday is usually paid at a time-and-a-half (the regular rate plus half of that again, per hour).
Why does the PM want to ditch Sunday penalty rates?
Malcolm Turnbull told Melbourne’s 3AW the Sunday penalty rate was a relic from a past time and did not fit in with today’s seven-day economy.
Liberals have previously argued that reducing the double-time penalty rate for Sundays would drive business growth and employment and help reduce Australia’s high youth unemployment rate, which – at more than 13 per cent – is at its highest since 2001, Fairfax Media reports.
Research by Restaurant and Catering Australia found replacing the Sunday rates with a flat weekend rate could create up to 40,000 new jobs nationally, the ABC reports.
According to the association, more than half of the hospitality business owners surveyed who shut up shops on a Sunday said they would consider reopening if the penalty rates were reduced.
What are the proposed changes?
The PM acknowledged there would need to be widespread acceptance from workers that they would not be worse off under changes to Sunday penalty rates for them to go ahead. “If you want to get the support of workers and unions… then you inevitably would have to persuade them that in net terms they’d be better off,” he said.