Page MP Kevin Hogan says penalty rate cuts will be good for young workers.
Page MP Kevin Hogan says penalty rate cuts will be good for young workers. ShotShare

Penalty rates 'helping mum and dad small businesses stay open'

UPDATE, 4.24pm: NSW Business Chamber regional manager Northern Rivers Jane Laverty has lent her support to the penalty rate cuts, saying they're helping 'mum and dad small businesses' stay open.

Following Page MP Kevin Hogan's comments this week about how young people will benefit from the penalty rate cuts, Ms Laverty said the changes were an "important decision supporting the sustainability" small business, like cafes and restaurants. 

"The new penalty rates still compensate employees more for working Sundays than Saturdays and more again for working public holidays," she said.

"The Commission reduced the penalty rates because they were not fair or relevant.

"This decision by Fair Work is supporting the mum and dad small business operators who if not given this support may have shut their doors.

"Many of those business operators walk out the door on those Sundays and public holidays with less than the people they employ."

Ms Laverty said: "Anything we can do to keep the doors of small business open" should be welcomed.


UPDATE, 12.10pm: YOUNG workers should be insulted by comments made by Page MP Kevin Hogan this week, according to Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey.

Mr Morey has challenged Mr Hogan to meet with local workers who have lost their penalty rates and explain why they would benefit from penalty rate cuts.

"Mr Hogan's attitude is an insult to young workers and shows that he's completely out of touch with his local community," Mr Morey said.

"That's why I'm challenging him to meet directly with workers in the retail, hospitality, fast food and pharmacy sectors tomorrow.

"He can choose the time and place, I'll bring the workers."

Mr Morey said there was no evidence that cuts to penalty rates had created a single new job in the electorate of Page.

Research released by the McKell Institute earlier this week forecast that workers in the seat of page will lose a combined total of $18.5 million over the next three years due to the cuts to penalty rates.

"That's a huge hit to the local economy, and a huge burden for workers who rely on penalty rates to make ends meet," Mr Morey said.

According to AEC data, there are 18,008 registered voters under 30 in the Page electorate, including 2,923 aged 18 and 19 who will be voting for the first time.


Original story: PAGE MP Kevin Hogan has been slammed for being "out-of-touch and disgraceful" after he suggested youth employees would benefit from the cuts to penalty rates.

Mr Hogan told ABC Radio on Wednesday he believed the recent penalty rate cuts will employ more people.

"As these rates come down they'll employ more people and open more on a Sunday, and that's great for our youth," he said.

Mr Hogan told The Northern Star he stands by his initial statement that the penalty rate cuts set by the Fair Work Commission would "provide more jobs on Sundays".

"If you are a family owned cafe or takeaway shop you have to pay $8 per hour more for your workers on a Sunday compared with large corporations like KFC," Mr Hogan said.

"Many of our local small shops, pharmacies and takeaways find it too expensive to open on Sundays and can't compete against the giant retail chains.

"The Fair Work Commission made this decision on penalty rates so small businesses could afford to open on a Sunday."

But Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus the penalty rate cuts would negatively impacting young workers.

"Young people should have fair pay, especially for weekend, night and public holiday shifts," she said.

"Kevin Hogan's comments are out-of-touch and disgraceful.

"Penalty rate cuts hold working people and local businesses back. When people don't have money to spend small business suffers."

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