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Byron Shire
February 27, 2024

Penalty rates justified, especially for low-paid workers

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I was very disappointed to see some local businesses in Bangalow showing signs in support of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry campaign to get rid of penalty rates over the Easter public holidays.

Penalty rates are there to compensate people who work when they should be off with their family having a break, or celebrating their religious beliefs or, dare I say it, dancing away at the Bluesfest.

They also form a large part of the take home pay of otherwise very low paid workers including hospitality staff. nurses and community workers.

I will never begrudge workers who have sacrificed their time off to provide me with a service a little bit of extra cash, nor do I have a problem paying the 15 per cent loading on meals many of these businesses were charging over the weekend.

Low paid workers spend all their money, much of it locally. If you cut these people’s wages then you hurt our local economy and our local businesses.

I have noted which businesses support cutting local wages and I will be making sure that I take my business elsewhere.

Asren Pugh, Bangalow


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