3 July 2019

Evidence is mounting that penalty rate cuts have failed to deliver the promised jobs and extra working hours. Dr Jim Stanford found that employment growth in the industries affected by the penalty rates cut was far lower than in most other industries: 0.9 and 1.7 percent in retail and hospitality, compared with 2.7 percent across the whole economy. “The conventional belief that simply cheapening labour and further exposing workers to lower and insecure wages will somehow elicit more job opportunities is not validated by empirical reality.” Meanwhile, professors from the University of Wollongong and Macquarie University looked specifically at the times of the week affected by the penalty rate changes and were “unable to establish any evidence of a relative increase in the prevalence of Sunday, public holiday or weekly employment for modern award employees or employers”. These wage cuts — with another round kicking in last week — are nothing more than a transfer of money from low paid workers to their bosses.