Penalty rates

The Association is once again copping it from the unions in a false and misleading negative campaign.

The penalty rates case in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has still not reached a decision, which means the four-year review will definitely take four years to reach finality. In addition, the fact that the vice president of the FWC resigned earlier in the year—citing that the “Fair Work Commission is partisan, dysfunctional and divided”—does not fill any of us employers with confidence that we’ll see a decision anytime soon.

This means that the campaign of negativity from the unions is not likely to end anytime soon, either. Their cartoons and mash-ups featuring restaurateurs as Grinches, millionaires or tennis players all scream desperation to get attention.

And their lies about the industry calling for an end to penalty rates and cutting wages also show that they are chasing headlines at any cost. The problem is, for them, it isn’t working. Mainstream media are just not interested anymore and the view of the general public is far more on our side of this argument than theirs.

All I hope is that we get a decision soon. It seems lost on the workplace-relations system that these costs to business are a handbrake on employment. We need to get a resolution to the madness of an over-regulated system and get on providing the service we provide and employing the people we know we need.

Mark Scanlan, President
Restaurant & Catering Australia

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