Legit the only reason you would work weekends is because of the sweet penalty rates that came with the gig… there’s no denying that. People would fight over Sunday hours where a full day shift could literally pay for a whole week’s worth of rent. When you looked at your paycheck after working the weekend you’re exact thoughts were ‘damn, I’m rich’. Sadly, that reality has now been flushed down the toilet along with your desires to now work weekends… not entirely, but let’s get real– weekend work was already less than desirable on a social standpoint, but now… 100% undesirable.

Australia Cuts Penalty Rates - A Millennial's Thoughts

The Figures

The cut affects those who work in fast food, hospitality, retail & pharmacy where Sunday penalty rates can be broken down like this:


Who does it affect?
Part-time & full-time (level one) workers & casuals- if you’re level two or three, you’re safe at 1.5x.

The Reduction
For part-time & full-time workers: 1.5x down to 1.25x
For casuals: 1.75x down to 1.5x


Who does it affect?
Part-time & full-time workers – casuals, you remain at 1.75x

The Reduction
1.75x down to 1.5x & on public holidays 2.5x down to 2.25x


Who does it affect?
Part-time & full-time workers, as well as casuals

The Reduction
Part-time & full-time: 2.0x down to 1.5x.
Casuals: 2.0x down to 1.75x.


Who does it affect?
Part-time, full-time and casual workers

The Reduction
Part-time & full-time: 2.0x down to 1.5x
Casuals: 2.0x down to 1.75x

The Reality

The driver behind the cuts has been Australian employers who simply cannot afford to have people on at those kinds of penalty wages and have been forced to close doors on Sundays. From a business perspective, we completely understand and hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to keep your business afloat. It’s a ruthless world out there and that’s the harsh reality… but some of us millennials would like to have a roof over our heads. What they’re predicting is that by cutting penalty rates, it will in turn create more hours (and more jobs) for those who really need it. We don’t know about you but one of the big reasons we used to work Sundays was purely so we didn’t have to take up another shift during the week.

And as if millennials weren’t already struggling to keep up with the rising prices in rent, property prices, as well as goods and services. Fair Work Commission had to go and cut the lowest paid professions… professions that a lot of uni students hold whilst bettering themselves and trying to survive. However, in an effort to reduce wages, would this perhaps mean that more business will do better? Shops will stay open longer? Those who are currently unemployed, may be able to find employment? There are most certainly two sides to the situation, and it’s important that both are acknowledged.

We asked a fellow millennial who works in the hospitality industry (who relies on those holy grail Sunday’s) his opinion and here’s what he said:

It’s bullshit. Employers winning the decision from the government standpoint (mind you those who work a Monday – Friday, 9 to 5) and those who aren’t affected shouldn’t have a say. As for the employers, themselves… like cafes, etc… you won’t see the menu prices drop or the surcharges disappear– a cup of coffee is still going to set you back $4.50 on a Monday as it would a Sunday. How is it going to allow bosses to put more workers on Sundays?

Employers are even more out of pocket more so having two individuals on reduced penalty rate than they would be have one individual on a full penalty rate… therefore, it’d be silly to put more workers on. Moral and work ethic on Sunday’s won’t be the same. Good luck.

For those who are opposing the decision, there’s still hope. Labour opposition Bill Shorten plan to challenge the Fair Work Commission and convince them to not go ahead.

We want to know what YOU guys think about this! Please join the discussion and share you thoughts in the comments below.

*Please note given this is a sensitive trending topic, please refrain from negative comment or attacking other people’s opinions. Everyone is unique and has different thought and we encourage you to speak your mind here at AJ.

Love always,

Amanda & Julia




One thought on “Australia Cuts Weekend Penalty Rates – A Millennial’s Thoughts”

  1. As long as we continue to elect people that are in the pocket of business, this trend will continue. As long as we neglect to be active unionists, this trend will continue. The only way to fight business, and political corruption is through activism. Taking purposeful action to punish both business that pay poor wages, and politicians that support them is the only path forward. If we refuse to work weekends, we will be fired. Unemployed is far higher than the dubious government figures. Good luck eating with no job. As long as our youth are more interested in the Kardashians, or whatever else is distracting them, they will continue to get ripped off by employers.

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