CANBERRA, AAP – Cleaners, waiters, miners and nurses working next summer holidays could be out of pocket by over $1000 due to public holiday penalty rate cuts, a new analysis shows.
Labor’s industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke on Thursday released an analysis of 10 of Australia’s most common workplace awards, using the government’s fair pay calculator.
The analysis weighed up how much some types of workers could lose over the summer period if penalty rates for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Australia Day were scrapped.
The government is considering enterprise bargaining law changes which would enable the Fair Work Commission to consider coronavirus impacts when approving agreements that fail the “better off overall test”, or BOOT.
To approve deals that don’t guarantee all workers are better off, there would have to be support from employers and employees and they could only last for two years.
Mr Burke said the analysis showed workers over the summer break could lose between $840 and $1170 from their pay packets if public holiday penalty rates are scrapped under the BOOT changes.
A typical aged care worker could lose $270 each day, adding up to $1080 over the month.
A level two cleaner could lose $263 a day, totalling $1052.
A level five registered nurse could lose $890 over the four public holidays days after copping a $223 a day pay cut.
Mr Burke said it was possible workers could also lose their weekend, early morning and late night shift penalties under the changes.
“This pay cut is Scott Morrison’s thanks to the people who got us through the pandemic – the frontline and essential workers who put themselves at risk by showing up to work and steering Australia through the crisis,” Mr Burke said.
“Pay cuts are bad for workers and bad for the economy. For Australia to recover from the recession we need people with the money and confidence to spend.”
The analysis’ calculations were based on the difference between the base and public holiday pay rates of typical award workers who work standard eight hour days across all four summer public holidays.
The draft laws were introduced to parliament in December and are expected to take some months to pass after scrutiny by MPs.