OPINION: Why the election result is bad news for weekend workers

stock photo female and male cafe workers penalty rates preparing coffees
Photo: Supplied

Last weekend’s surprise federal election result will have major negative ramifications on weekend workers’ penalty rates, and will leave the future of LGBTIQ employees, teachers and students in faith-based institutions in limbo.

Labor’s Bill Shorten had pledged to end lawful discrimination against gay workers, teachers and students in faith-based institutions, including schools.


He also promised to reverse harsh penalty rate cuts for those who work in hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy.

But re-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison made no such promises.

So from July, there will be another round of penalty rate cuts for weekend workers of 5 per cent.

That might not sound like much. But those workers have already copped a 15 per cent cut to their penalty rates since they were first introduced in 2017.

By the time the cuts are fully implemented, the McKell Institute estimates that weekend workers will be out of pocket a staggering $2.8 billion.

Removal of discrimination exemptions affecting gay students

Morrison’s pledged to protect gay kids in schools late last year, but he reneged. He effectively “kicked the can down the road” by handing the issue to the Law Reform Commission for review.

The Prime Minister is a fundamentalist Christian who is more likely to introduce religious freedom laws that will allow faith-based schools to continue to legally expel gay kids and sack gay teachers and other staff simply for being who they are.

Federal elections have consequences. Some of our hardest weekend workers and our LGBTIQ teachers and students could be about to pay the price.

If you have experienced discrimination or been unfairly dismissed from employment, we can help. Please call Discrimination Claims today on 1300 853 837.

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