Penalty rate cuts: Gilmore workers to lose $2400 a year

Data from a recent report by the McKell Institute, titled 'The Unfair Burden: The Impact of Sunday Penalty Rate Reductions on Regional and Rural Australia'.

Data from a recent report by the McKell Institute, titled 'The Unfair Burden: The Impact of Sunday Penalty Rate Reductions on Regional and Rural Australia'.

Thousands of Gilmore workers would lose a combined total of $14.6 million every year on the back of planned penalty rate cuts, new analysis has revealed.

An independent report released by the McKell Institute this week found 6175 workers in the Liberal seat, one of the most marginal in the country, would each lose an average of $2368 a year.

In February, the Fair Work Commission ruled existing penalty rates for workers in retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy would be cut. 

The changes, to be phased in from July 1, include full-time and part-time retail workers having their Sunday penalties cut from 200 per cent to 150 per cent of their standard hourly rate.

Gilmore’s 3000 pharmacy and retail workers stand to lose the most, with their weekly gross income to drop $77.76, the report said.

The electorate’s 432 fast food employees would lose $33.88 a week, while 2742 hospitality workers would be $35.40 a week worse off under the changes. 

The report, which offered “conservative” estimates, stated the cuts would see affected workers lose a total of $14.6 million a year in disposable income.

“The reduction in pay for many members of the workforce is significant, and will lead to a reduction in disposable income throughout their communities,” the report said.

Labor candidate for Gilmore Fiona Phillips said the report showed the “devastating impact” of the changes.

Ms Phillips called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis to “abandon their heartless and out of touch advocacy” for the cuts.

Ms Sudmalis and her government should “admit that cuts to penalty rates will not create extra jobs, but will be a kick in the guts for low paid workers”, she said.

Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey also called on Ms Sudmalis to stop the cuts. 

“Federal Parliament will soon debate a motion to overturn the cuts to penalty rates,” Mr Morey said. 

“That means Ann Sudmalis has the power to stand up for her community and stop these cuts.”

Ms Sudmalis said the McKell Institute was a “union-Labor aligned think tank” and its research was “hardly independent”.  

“Research by the McKell Institute is part of a broader political campaign to undermine the Fair Work Commission’s decision on penalty rates,” she said.

“The analysis wrongly assumes that no shops, cafes or pubs will open for additional hours following a moderate reduction in Sunday penalty rates.

“This ignores the Fair Work Commission’s finding that the new rates will deliver more jobs, more hours of work and increased access to services on Sundays.”

The data from the McKell Institute report.

The data from the McKell Institute report.