Penalty Rates For Weekends & Public Holidays Threatened By New IR Laws:

Employers have started to use the new IR laws to abolish weekend and public holiday penalty rates for workers in the hospitality and retail industries leading to a sharp drop in workers take home pay.,/P>

Reports in todays newspapers show that a young worker in a Juice Bar has seen her pay for a seven hour shift cut by $40 a day because her employment has shifted to an individual contract (AWA).

In the case of 16 year old Amber Oswald, reported today in the Sydney Morning Herald, her employer shifted the Juice Bar workers onto individual contracts (AWAs) on the first day of the new laws, 27 March.

Under the new AWA, Ambers hourly pay rate dropped from $9.52 to $8.57 and her penalty rates had been abolished altogether.

This reduced her pay by $5.70 an hour on Sundays and by as much as $11.25 an hour on public holidays.

Amber now receives $40 less for working a seven-hour shift on Sundays.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:

The national union helpline is receiving more and more calls from workers concerned they will lose penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work.

The take home pay of workers is now under serious threat as employers take advantage of the new IR laws to get rid of penalty rates for weekends and public holidays.

We are going to see more examples of this in the lead up to the Easter weekend, said Ms Burrow.

Workers are encouraged to call the national Union Helpline on 1300 362 223 for free advice.