Industry association Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has said reforming weekend pay would create 50,600 jobs and 64,200 hours of work in the hospitality industry.

A R&CA survey of 1,000 restaurant and caf owners said businesses would open an additional 5.07 hours on average and employ an additional 3.15 staff on the weekend if there was reform to weekend pay. This could mean on average an additional 1.5 hours of work for part-time or casual hospitality workers on a Sunday according to the industry association.  

“This is not about abolishing penalty rates. Workers deserve to be compensated for working unsociable hours. It is about reducing the penalty on Sundays only to create jobs. United Voice have maintained their existing rhetoric at the expense of the unemployed and underemployed,” said R&CA CEO John Hart.  

“A third of young part-time workers have experienced insufficient work for one year or more, with underemployed staff seeking on average an extra 13.5 hours of work per week.

“We need to balance the interests of existing workers with the need to create more jobs and more work for people who want it. The Fair Work Commission has the responsibility to both groups of Australians.”  

The R&CA survey conducted by Jetty Research also found that 52 percent of businesses would hire additional staff, 68 percent would invest in training, and 41 percent would open longer, if a single weekend rate applied.

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