Bill's Media Releases

Workers’ entitlements over Easter

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten today urged all employers and employees to check the correct pay rates and entitlements that apply over Easter and to seek advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman if they need assistance.

“As Easter approaches it’s important that Australian workers receive the right rates of pay and entitlements,” Mr Shorten said.

“Often, the people who work these less family friendly hours are among the lowest paid.  In particular, for workers in the retail and hospitality industries penalty rates comprise a significant proportion of their take home pay.”

“While many of us are looking forward to a break over Easter and spending time with our family and friends, we should remember that others work during this period.”

“Penalty rates, additional payments to employees who work on weekends, late at night and on public holidays, have long been a feature of the Australian workplace relations system.”

“The Government’s position on penalty rates is clear. We have recently introduced legislation into the Parliament to ensure that penalty rates, overtime, shift work loading and public holiday pay are definite formal considerations for the Fair Work Commission when it sets award rates and conditions.”

“This is in stark contrast to Tony Abbott who refuses point blank to guarantee that he will not change or undermine penalty rates for those who work on days like Good Friday”.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website – www.fairwork.gov.au/publicholidays – contains information about rates of pay and public holiday entitlements in each state and territory.

“I want to encourage all employers and employees to make sure they understand their rights and entitlements,” Mr Shorten said.

“Business, large and small, and their employees just want to know the right thing is being done.”

“The Fair Work Ombudsman is available to assist all workplace parties in getting these things right.”

Anyone seeking assistance can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Mr Shorten’s Media Contact: Sam Casey — 0421 697 660