Turnbull must reject Productivity Commission call to cut take-home pay

On the eve of Christmas, the Productivity Commission has recommended cutting the take-home pay of Australia’s lowest-paid workers.

Dave_Oliver.jpegThe Productivity Commission’s workplace relations review final report recommends a raid on the pay packets of working Australians by taking away their Sunday penalty rates.

ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must now reject these recommendations and give certainty to families who rely on weekend penalty rates. 

“This is an attack on the pay and rights of the hardest-working Australians.  Employees who work on weekends must be paid properly,” Dave Oliver said.

“The Commission’s recommendations are out of step with Australian values, out of touch with the modern lives of working people, and would compromise future economic and productivity growth.

“If it is not Malcolm Turnbull’s intention to slash penalty rates he must rule out any future cut backs of these entitlements and make a submission  to the Fair Work Commission that they be protected. 

“We have seen stronger growth in the retail and hospitality sectors over the past year than we have in the rest of the economy.  Workers in those industries deserve increased job security and proper compensation, not wage cuts.

“Real wages have stagnated, despite strong jobs and productivity growth – so we have a widening wage gap, with those on the lowest wages missing out.  Families on lower wages will struggle if Turnbull refuses to reject this report as an excuse to slash penalty rates."


  • September ABS figures show wages growth at its slowest rate since 1998.
  • Unemployment is at its lowest level for 18 months – up 71,400 in November.
  • Labour productivity increased by 1.3 per cent in the year to June 2015, following a 2 per cent increase in 2013-14 and leaving productivity at a 25 year high.
  • The NAB Business Conditions Index remains at +10 points in the month of November, the fourth consecutive month of conditions well above the long-term average.
  • The accommodation and food services sector – perhaps most exposed to penalty rates – had the highest business entry rate with 15,615 new entries.

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