Exorbitant penalty rates cost hundreds of jobs in newsagents alone!

Do we know how many jobs are going missing because of small business forced to either close or worse work the additional hours themselves to be able to afford penalty rates to open on weekends and public holidays?

The Australian Newsagents’ Federation conducted a quick snapshot survey to find out.

This is from one industry, now magnify this across the 2 million+ small business in Australia!!!!

Worth a discussion?

We would love to hear from you – leave your comments below.


5 thoughts on “Exorbitant penalty rates cost hundreds of jobs in newsagents alone!

  1. Hi Adam,
    Up until the introduction of the Modern Awards Queensland retailers were lucky in that there were no penalty rates for Saturday and only time and a quarter for Sundays. Employment numbers in newsagencies were high and newsagents were able to find level of work life balance which is so essential to health and business success.
    I would never expect an employee to receive less than they are entitled to but question whether or not those who would prefer to work weekends should be paid more than those who would prefer to work Monday to Friday.
    Congratulations on your Media release – lets hope this starts a landslide!


  2. Hi Ann – You are correct! this is about sensible discussion on what is and what not is deemed as unsociable hours!
    As an Example – a mum with kids that has worked Monday to Friday already and needs to assist on the weekend should attract penalty rates, As should the Dad who has worked more than the maximum hours any given day.

    This requires serious consideration from all about what is a fairer penalty rate system based on a renewed understanding of unsociable hours.

    I don’t support any suggestion that we remove the penalty rates totally – just create a fairer system that allows small business to operate in a manner that drives employment and spending in our economy.

    The bottom line is the current system is costing jobs and costing our economy in differing but equally dangerous ways.

    1. When businesses close their doors because its too expensive to be open.This has an effect on people earning and spending money in local economies,this has a continued cyclic downward spiral.

    2. If the Small Business owner continues to work the extended hours themselves, we end up with 40 – 45 year old Mum and Dad small business owners with the health issues of 65 – 70 year old’s adding significant costs to he health care system.


  3. I support the ANF & Newsagents for discussing this important aspect of managing a small business. The debate is not isolated to only newsagents and I hope brining this debate forward, does motivate the many other industries supporting small business in Australia to have a voice.
    No one argues the commercial reality that the cost of doing business rises each year and that the consumer ultimately drive the price offer to market, through the enormous scope of choice of where & mode to purchase.
    Newsagents understand that as a business owners they need to regularly re-explore new efficiencies to reduce costs, maintain margin & improve the service offer to hold a bottom-line that keeps them trading. That is commercial fact.
    Margins in small business however are shrinking & when you are required to trade 7 days a week with significant increase in costs on certain days due to the high level of penalty rates, the only real remedy is to reduce employment opportunity (Cut labour costs) & try and self manage.
    One of the by-products of high penalty rates is that it also locks out work for the mature experienced person, who is generally on a high hourly rate. Being in an economy where the retirement age is increasing I believe this also needs to be added to the debate.
    As Newsagents are trading 7 days a week, there should be scope in awards to apply more even cost of labour. This would maintain / increase the opportunity to employ, give the business owner time out & ensure they remain competitive.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A bit of Common Sense Please!
    I cannot believe that anyone can even entertain the fact that paying juniors an adult wage wont dramatically affect employment of younger people. Every newsagent that I have spoken to has told me that if any change is commenced which involves a 20 year old or younger -being paid an adult wage- they may simply not employ them. Could be seen as prejudice you say? The proof would be in the escalating number of young people on the unemployment line.

    On the other side- if you happen to employ a fantastic young person and have trained them up over a number of years- the employer may well make their own decision to pay that fantastic employee additional monies, or offer a bonus if certain goals are reached. At least this decision is made with a logical and common sense approach, rather than simply deciding that Award rates should change.

    A bit of common sense is all that is required to see that employers hate the thought of this topic even being discussed and it is a total waste of time to commit anyones energy to such a change.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with other comments and would also like to know why we are continually being told it is cheaper to live in Sth Aust, why then are our penalty rates so excessive compared to the other states? We are also asked to be flexible with our hrs yet are penalised with these ridiculous penalty rates.

    Liked by 1 person

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