Revolt over penalty pay rate cuts

Some businesses are refusing to cut employee wages

A storm is brewing. There’s mounting public opposition to this week’s decision to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty pay rates for thousands of Aussie workers.

But the good news is, many of these Aussie workers have the one person in their corner you wouldn’t expect – their employer.

Penalty pay rates cut

  • The Fair Work Commission approved cuts to the Sunday, public holiday and holiday penalty rates for workers on the retail, fast food and hospitality awards.
  • The approved penalty rate reductions will cut the wages of many struggling workers by as much as 25 to 30%.
  • And they’ll mean more than a million Aussie workers will have their take-home pay cut by over 20%, or around $6,000 a year.

Understandably, workers are furious and say these cuts are hitting the lowest paid members of the workforce.

But not all businesses support the pay cuts

  • However in a surprise move, some employers are refusing the approved penalty pay rate cuts.
  • They’re instead reassuring their staff that they won’t be cutting their penalty pay rates, and that their current earnings are safe.

Supporting staff is good PR!

  • Retailers like Lush Australia are earning high fives and support all over social media from both their staff and Aussie shoppers for taking a stand against the pay cuts.
  • Lush Director Peta Granger has reassured her staff their penalty rates would not be cut, saying that “the sacrifice of working Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays deserves proper compensation”.
  • Lush have decided against applying Fair Work’s ruling on penalty rates, insisting that the happiest and most productive employees are those who feel safe, valued and listened to.
  • And Lush are calling on other retailers to do the same, in the belief that the positive PR associated with doing the right things by their workers is the best way to drive sales and boost profits, rather than by slashing employee wages.

Many other business are following suit

  • The move is a smart one for Lush, with thousands of Aussies taking to social media to thank them for their stance, and declare that they’ll be sure to shop at Lush stores.
  • And Lush aren’t alone in rejecting the pay cuts for their staff. Social media is ablaze with many other local and family owned businesses declaring their support for their employees and their existing rates of pay.
  • Businesses including Delphina’s Bistro in Brisbane, Bonta Vera restaurant in Minmi NSW and the Hairy Giraffe Café in Hobart are earning public approval (and no doubt a lot of good business!) for their stance against the penalty pay rate cuts.

Paying staff more can actually boost profits!

  • So if the thousands of comments on social media posts are anything to go by, Aussie workers can rest assured that they’ve plenty of supporters in their corner.
  • And it seems smart Aussie businesses can earn themselves some great positive publicity – and boost their sales and profits – by declaring support for current pay rates, and rejecting the penalty rate cuts.