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Monday, 12 October 2015
Page: 7344

Senator MADIGAN (Victoria) (17:23): Penalty rates are again in the spotlight. Our Prime Minister has questioned the reason for their existence, putting it down to a freak result of history. The fact of the matter is penalty rates provide recognition of the work undertaken at otherwise inconvenient times, whether it is for work undertaken on a Saturday or a Sunday when many family and community functions are held or on a public holiday when one is missing out on quality time with those whom they are closest to.

Mamamia News has done a fantastic job in summarising quite succinctly the reason why we pay penalty rates. They say:

Most people work weekends for money, not love, slogging it out on a day they would prefer to spend with their families to pay the bills. They are the ones who will be taking a pay cut.

Penalty rates protect the sanctity of our weekends because our lives are more than just our jobs, and being compensated with extra pay for working unsociable and unpopular hours is widely considered fair game.

In summary, penalty rates are paid to Australians who are generally on lower, less stable incomes. Penalty rates are generally paid to Australians for doing their best to get ahead in life. It is for these reasons that I will not support the undermining of penalty rates now or in the future. Thank you.