Penalty rates ‘no benefit’ for small business

SMALL businesses won’t benefit from reduced penalty rates on weekends—that’s a ruse created by the big end of town says Jandakot Labor MLA Yaz Mubarakai.

In his maiden speech to parliament last week, Mr Mubarakai says only big business will benefit from the changes, announced by the Fair Work Commission earlier this year, which will see hospitality staff penalty rates drop from 175 per cent of their standard wage to 150 per cent.

Penalty rates

The Productivity Commission paved the way for the cuts, arguing they would allow employers to hire more staff, but Mr Mubarakai says that’s not the case for small business.

“If people speak to politicians about small business and ask them what the pain points and the issues facing small business owners are, some will say penalty rates and restrictive work practices,” Mr Mubarakai told parliament.

“But I can tell members, honestly, as a small business owner, those two items, penalty rates and restrictive work practices, are well down the list of problems.

“Cutting penalty rates is not going to make any significant difference to small business; yet, this issue is monopolising the entire debate around problems facing this sector.

“We need to be very clear in our understanding that the debate around penalty rate cuts has been set up to benefit big businesses with significant numbers of employees, which in reality are the ones that can most afford to pay them.”

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