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Penalty Rates need to be overhauled

February 17th, 2012 at 06:36am

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore (with some extra bits added to make the context clear for people who did not hear the on-air topic)

Good morning Andrew,

Penalty rates are an interesting dilemma. While I agree that there should be some sort of extra incentive to work weird hours, I also don’t think that I should receive a heap of penalty rates for choosing to work odd hours.

My job contains a whole set of convoluted and expensive penalty rates which see me earn anything from 20% to 100% more than my base 38 hour wage per week. Admittedly my base rate would make me a rather low income earner, so I think a decent compromise would be to increase base rates a bit in exchange for simplifying penalty rates. Odd hours rates and public holiday rates should stay in a simplified form, but weekend rates are just wrong if I only work 38 hours per week. We don’t live in a society where business only occurs on weekdays, and it is expected by most people that businesses will operate on weekends, so it is silly to pay people extra for working on what is effectively an arbitrary two days of the week.

That’s my view…I’m sure there’s a few million other views out there.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

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