Greens release exposure draft for bill to protect weekend penalty rates

Greens Industrial Relations spokesperson Adam Bandt MP today released an exposure draft for a bill to protect weekend penalty rates. 

“The Greens are the only party that will protect weekend rates of pay,” Mr Bandt said.

“Weekend rates are an integral part of people’s rights at work, with thousands of Australians depending on weekend rates to make ends meet.”

“Young people in particular depend on weekend rates to support themselves while they study. Young people are already facing unaffordable housing, insecure work and low levels of student assistance, so cutting weekend rates would place them under immense pressure.”

“It is time that people have certainty about the future of their weekend rates. It is time to ensure people’s weekend rates are protected by law.”

“Should the Fair Work Commission choose to cut penalty rates this June, Bill Shorten has shamefully said that Labor will accept its decision.”

“Labor’s claim that enshrining penalty rates in legislation would open the door to conservative changes is a furphy. On Labor's logic, we shouldn’t have legislation specifying four weeks of annual leave in case the Liberals later cut it down to three.”

"We're not proposing to legislate every hourly rate of pay in every industry. Our bill would set a strong legal minimum and then let the Commission do its work independently but on the proviso that pay rates wouldn't go backwards.

“Labor is just making excuses. This is everything that is wrong with the Labor Party. They talk tough on protecting weekend rates, but will not do anything to protect weekend rates should they be cut.”

“The Greens will legislate to protect weekend rates for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who depend on them.”

Download a copy of the exposure draft for the Private Member's Bill to protect weekend penalty rates here.