Penalty rates

My local hairdresser charges $5 more for haircuts on weekends than they do on weekdays. Cinemas often charge more for weekend sessions than for weekday sessions. Petrol prices rise on weekends. Hotel rates are regularly higher on weekends than during the working week.

The stated aim of the government’s “Workchoices” legislation, a name that becomes more inaccurate by the day, was to introduce “flexibility” into the workplace, so that employers could make employees work overtime and shifts without having to pay a penalty. If it’s so beneficial to the country that we have to make employees give up their weekends for the same rates they get on weekends, why isn’t this good enough to apply to businesses and the surcharges they apply on weekends? If their employees cost the same on weekends now, employers don’t really have a reason to be raising their prices, anymore.

One response to “Penalty rates

  1. Theoretically, in a true marketplace, the worker market would say “nope, not working weekends unless you pay me more”. I’m sure this even happens for some people on AWAs — the whole point of them is that you are meant to negotiate the terms you want. If you want to be compensated for working weekends, hopefully you are smart enough to demand such a clause in your contract. If you are, and they say “nope, sorry”, then you are in a job market that can bare that, or that company will soon fold through not being able to gain any employees (surely you wouldn’t want to work for a company that didn’t pay you for working in such conditions?). If you aren’t, then, well, hopefully you’ll learn your lesson on your next job interview. If the job market in your field can bare that kind of BS, then it’s probably wise to get out and get yourself some new skillz0rs.

    Myself? Unionised (and un-ionised), and get about half of my salary from the 5th of the time I spent on night shift 🙂

    Still, Little Johnny be going for different reasons in 5 months time 🙂

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