Weekend Pay Reform Could Create 50,600 New Jobs

Nov 26, 2016

By foodservice Magazine.

A possible 50,600 jobs and 64,200 hours of work could be created in the hospitality and foodservice industries if reform were to occur to weekend pay, according to peak national association Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA).

A R&CA survey conducted by Jetty Research of 1,000 restaurant and café owners revealed businesses would on average open an additional 5.07 hours and employ an additional 3.15 staff on the weekend if there was reform to weekend pay. This could mean on average an additional 1.5 hours of work for part-time or casual hospitality workers on a Sunday.

R&CA CEO John Hart says reform is not “about abolishing penalty rates. Workers deserve to be compensated for working unsociable hours. It is about reducing the penalty on Sundays only to create jobs. United Voice have maintained their existing rhetoric at the expense of the unemployed and underemployed.

“A third of young part-time workers have experienced insufficient work for one year or more, with underemployed staff seeking on average an extra 13.5 hours of work per week.”

Furthermore, Hart believes, “We need to balance the interests of existing workers with the need to create more jobs and more work for people who want it. The Fair Work Commission has the responsibility to both groups of Australians.”

The R&CA survey also found that 52 per cent of businesses would hire additional staff, 68 per cent would invest in training, and 41 per cent would open longer, if a single weekend rate applied.

“Business owners know if they don’t invest in their business they will lose their staff and customers,” says Hart. “Savings from reform will be invested in staff training and additional shifts for workers. Just because this isn’t the Unions truth doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

“We need to stop villainising business owners simply because they want a new way of looking at things. Seventy per cent of businesses in Australia are family-owned and operated. These families deserve a system that allows them to operate sustainably, while supporting the communities in which they operate through employment.”

For further information, please visit rca.asn.au/rca.

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