Proposed Penalty Rate Changes

penalty rate changes

The Federal Government is set to introduce a bill designed to enhance individual flexibility arrangements.  By allowing penalty rate changes by employers, the bill seeks to make employee requests for flexibility easier to accommodate.

Here’s what SmartCompany said on the matter.

Individual flexibility arrangements are set to be enhanced, as next week the Coalition will introduce a bill which could see employees given the opportunity to trade penalty rates for increased workplace flexibility.

Employment Minister Eric Abetz intends to introduce a bill focused on improving individual flexibility arrangements (first introduced under the Labor government) to give employers and employees greater scope to come to mutually beneficial outcomes.

Abetz used an example first made by Julia Gillard where a gym instructor wants to finish work earlier to coach his son’s sports team. After discussions with his employer it is agreed he can finish early and start early, forgoing the penalty rates the employer would have needed to pay for the early start.

I don’t know about you, but this seems to be a move in the right direction.  It makes complete sense that an employer shouldn’t be adversely affected by granting an employee’s request for flexibility, as they would be in Julia Gillard’s example without this legislation.  This should theoretically make it easier and more logical for requests for flexibility to be approved and that is a win for all parties.

My only concern is that it could present as an opportunity to exploit workers.  As long as there are proper safeguards in place to ensure employers can’t use it to excessively water down an employee’s entitlements, then School Hours are all for it and hope that it is implemented.


NB: You can read the full SmartCompany article here.

Leigh Grigaliunas

Leigh is an owner and co-founder of School Hours Pty Ltd.Leigh's passion for helping others coupled with his desire to achieve a balance between raising children and earning a living, lead him to create School Hours Pty Ltd with his wife Yasmin.School Hours will be the place to go for Australian parents wanting to connect with progressive thinking, family friendly employers.

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