Majority of Australians support higher Sunday penalties: poll

A new poll released today shows the majority of Australians think there is a difference between Saturday and Sunday, and people who work on a Sunday should get higher pay rates than those who work on a Saturday.

The Essential poll, commissioned by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), found 63% of all Australians believe people who work on a Sunday should be paid more than on a Saturday.

The ACTU has released these figures in the wake of the Fair Work Commission’s decision to slash penalty rates for almost one million Australians.

Key findings:

•    61% of respondents said they believe there is a difference between working on a Saturday and a Sunday.
•    Almost two thirds (63%) of respondents think people required to work on a Sunday should get higher rates of pay than those who work on a Saturday.
•    More than half of Liberal National Party voters agree that there is a difference between Saturday’s and Sunday’s in Australia, while 69% of both Labor and Greens voters also concur.
•    More than 60% of respondents across all age groups believe Sundays are different to Saturday’s and Sunday workers should be paid more.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said: “The response to yesterday’s decision to slash Sunday penalty rates has prompted an outpouring of deep anger from the Australian people.”

“This poll confirms that Australians are against cuts to Sunday penalty rates regardless of their age or who they vote for.”

“Australians know there is a difference between working during the week and having to work on the weekends — but also between working on a Saturday or Sunday.”

“For millions of low paid workers, penalty rates are the difference between earning a living wage and living below the poverty line.”

“Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Government must listen to voters and commit to changing workplace relations rules to make sure workers don’t go backwards.”

“Australian Unions oppose any cuts to penalty rates that result in cuts to take home pay.”

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