Last month, the Fair Work Commission elected to reduce penalty rates for Australia's hospitality and retail staff. In the hospitality award, the penalty rate for full-time and part-time employees will be reduced from 175 to 150 per cent. Retail workers and those working at pharmacies will see their Sunday double time reduced to 150% of their hourly rate.
The justification among business owners is that unemployment is higher than it needs to be and high wages reduce options for businesses and consumers. However, many of the arguments employers make are not supported by the evidence.