Hundreds of thousands of Australians are set to lose as much as $2,000 per year due to penalty rate cuts.
Sunday penalty rates are being reduced from 180 per cent of wages to 165 per cent on July 1.
The change is part of a Fair Work Commission plan to make it less expensive for small businesses to open at the weekend and nights, and encourage them to employ more people.
But union bosses have slammed the change, saying workers are not happy about the cuts.
‘Working people need jobs that are secure and pay them fairly – not more cuts that stop them from being able to pay for life’s essentials,’ United Voice secretary, Jo-anne Schofield, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, federal MPs have been granted a two per cent pay rise from July 1, just as 700,000 retail and hospitality workers are set to have their penalty rates cut.
The independent Remuneration Tribunal said in its decision – which relates to all public offices in its jurisdiction including federal judges and public servants – it had taken into account economic restraint, lower wage growth more broadly and the government’s public sector workplace bargaining policy.
‘The tribunal notes that various indicators predict that wage growth is expected to increase gradually, lagging economic growth,’ it said on Thursday.
‘Wage growth has increased modestly over the past year, with reliable measures indicating private sector wage growth is now equalling or outpacing the public sector.’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to receive a bump of just over $10,000 a year on top of his current $538,460.
MPs and senators currently get a base annual salary of $207,100.