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Accommodation industry hits out at Easter penalty rates

April 2, 2015 Corporate, Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The accommodation industry is joining calls for reform of Australia’s industrial relations system, ahead of services in the industry being cut this Easter weekend due to what some call “excessive” penalty rates.

Unless changes are made to the existing regime, visitors and staff will continue to lose out, the Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) has declared.

“Accommodation businesses – particularly those in regional and rural parts of Australia – are being hamstrung by the direct cost to operators of penalty rates,” AAoA chief executive, Richard Munro, said.

“While cafes, restaurants and retail businesses can choose to close this Easter weekend, accommodation businesses cannot, as they have to remain open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Instead, many bars and restaurants within accommodation businesses will be shut because it is unprofitable for them to open.

“This makes for a less-than-desirable reception for international visitors, while staff miss out on shifts.”

The situation is worse in some states and territories than others, Munro said.

“In NSW and Victoria, for example, all four days over Easter are classified as public holidays. This means that casual staff who work on the four days across Easter will be paid the equivalent of 11 normal working days.

“This is a clear demonstration that current penalty rates are too high.”

Munro makes clear that accommodation industry isn’t trying to get penalty rates abolished. It wants them set at “a reasonable level” to – among other things – attempt to ensure that Australia can compete with other low-cost international destinations which are on our doorstop.

“The tourism industry is Australia’s largest services export with excellent prospects for growth, however shutting down on public holidays due to penalty rates detracts from our product and jeopardises potential expansion,” Munro comments.

“This will continue to be the case unless penalty rates are overhauled.”

Edited by : Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    the problem is not penalty rates being too high it is the perception , by some , that they are an impost , a ripoff and robbery , WELL ARE THEY !!
    Wages are about 10% to 12% of tarriff so penalty rates are proportionate to tariff . Customers have an aversion to paying any extra so they have to be trained . THe only real problem is easter and xmas say 7 days in total [at most ] from the total year !!!! any wise operator has a min stay package in place which takes into account this extra 20 to 25% [ but generally a bit more ‘ – ha ha ! ] The accommodation industry is full of hungry , mean spirited operators that , through experiences , think everyone is having a go at them – they are – because they are doing it to them , the very same people that give their girl $10 ph CASH . There is NO ‘ clear indication ‘ penalty rates are too high – if you run your business properly you can min stay these periods and actually end up better off ROBBING YOUR STAFF IS NOT THE WAY TO SUCCESS !!!!

  2. stingforever says:

    … operators should pay penalty rates…. i mean how many times a year do they do this thing… they don’t even give you a bonus when they make money… open up and be generous to your staff once in a while… and besides you can claim them on cost for your taxes… if making money is your only purpose for doing business then that’s bad business…

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