Save our weekend

A report commissioned by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) found a public sector nurse or midwife would lose over $1900 per year, if their Sunday penalty rates were reduced to Saturday rates. Collectively, that would result in a loss of over $359 million a year for nurses, midwives and aged care workers.

Nurses, midwives and aged care workers rely on penalty rates for 20% of their income, to find out more about the devastating impact of cutting penalty rates in the ultimate 24/7 industry – health – download the McKell Institute report here: The Importance of Penalty Rates for Our Health Workforce.

The Productivity Commission report, delivered to the federal Government in August 2015, recommends a two-tier penalty rate system, whereby health and emergency workers would get penalty rates but Sunday penalty rates are to be cut for workers in hospitality, entertainment and retail.

The detail is missing on whether retention of penalty rates applies to aged care and private sector nurses, who are the most vulnerable.

The erosion of the concept of a ‘weekend’ would undoubtedly lead to the eventual disappearance of the weekend and the destruction of penalty rates for all.

Weekend rates are compensation for working when everyone else is relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. Getting rid of weekend rates would mean a sudden pay cut to workers who can’t afford it – and don’t deserve it.

Sign up to Save our Weekend! Download and print the Save Our Weekend poster for your workplace. Download the Save our Weekend petition. Find out more about the Productivity Commission report.