By POLITICAL REPORTER STEPHANIE ANDERSON
The recommendations — laid out in the commission’s final report into workplace relations released on Monday — would affect workers in the entertainment, hospitality and retail industries, if adopted.
The commission did not recommend any changes to overtime penalty rates, night penalty rates or shift loadings, nor changes to rates for nurses, teachers or emergency services workers.
“Penalty rates have a legitimate role in compensating employees for working long hours or at asocial times,” it stated.
“However, Sunday penalty rates for hospitality, entertainment, retailing, restaurants and cafes are inconsistent across similar work, anachronistic in the context of changing consumer preferences, and frustrate the job aspirations of the unemployed and those who are only available for work on Sunday.
“Rates should be aligned with those on Saturday, creating a weekend rate for each of the relevant industries.”
Announcing the report’s findings, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said the Government would examine the recommendations and, if the case for sensible and fair changes to workplace relations were outlined, they would be taken to the next election.
Senator Cash said the commission recommended that penalty rates should continue to be set by the independent Fair Work Commission and the Government has no plan to change the rates itself.
“The only recommendation that the Productivity Commission makes on penalty rates is directed to the independent Fair Work Commission and that is in relation to the weekend penalty rates for the retail and hospitality industry,” she said.