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As I was only 17 when I started, my hourly rate was pretty low - about $7 an hour.

"We know with illegal payments and black economy that there is already a significant part of the economy that are not even getting penalty rates".

Macarthur MPs have weighed in on the decision to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty rates.

The mining investment boom fall-away is still working through, so actual investment is down this year compared to last and forecast investment is also down compared to last year's forecasts.

Colin Barnett has taken a political risk in expressing his view that the Fair Work Commission's historic decision to cut Sunday penalty rates for pharmacy, fast food, hospitality and retail workers should also apply to Western Australian award workers.

Labor has previously called for the overall take home pay of workers to be protected in the event of a penalty rate cut.

The decision was instantly slammed by union groups as an attack on the lowest-paid workers in society.

It is much the same for hospitality workers, but there will be no change for casuals.

In the retail trade, 56 per cent of employees are women.

"Maurice Blackburn stands with the union movement in supporting better outcomes for all working Australians and more enlightened government policy", he said.

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Female participation in part-time employment has been growing in recent years.

. I assumed it would be a bit like how it was for Rachel in Friends - I'd sling a few coffees every now and then while draping myself on an armchair, talking to my mates about who I was crushing on.

In 2016, the gender pay gap in the retail trade industry sat around 16 per cent and across all industries, for those employed full-time it sat at 23 per cent. In other words, while it no longer has religious significance, Sunday is still a day of rest.

And Annette Rawlings had a suggestion to counter the FWC's decision: "Maybe If those effected refused to work without penalties something would happen, no shopping or eating out on Saturday, Sunday or public holidays".

Consumers can expect to pay no less for their Sunday brunch or afternoon tea, as employers indicated to the commission that a cut to penalty rates would have no impact on their prices offered on Sundays.

So while the Australian economy remains slow, job opportunities remain slim and housing and education costs keep rising, vulnerable young workers just took another massive hit.

"The Greens have introduced a bill that would prevent big businesses, like Coles, McDonalds and KFC, from striking unfair deals that allow them to pay their employees below the award", Bandt says. "That is bad for workers, bad for business and bad for the general public".

Angela Scott, from the Sydney University's Business School made a good point on the penalty rates decision.

The ABS said the first estimate of capital expenditure for 2017-18 is $80.62 billion, almost 4% lower than the first estimate for 2016-17.

Equalising Saturday and Sunday doesn't have to mean cutting to the lowest common denominator of current Saturday rates.

No change to Sunday penalty rates for level two and three employees in that award.


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