One Company is Standing Firm on Dropping Penalty Rates

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Not everyone will apply the cut.

Cafe tabletop with biscuits and cakes atop
Yesterday, the Fair Work Commission announced that rates for hospitality, restaurant, fast food, retail and pharmacy employees who suffer through weekend work with be dropped to ease pressure on business owners.

The new rates, which see Sunday rates of pay for part- and full-time employees decrease from 175% to 150%, and a drop from 200% to 150% for retail workers, won’t come into effect until July this year, but the backlash from retail workers has already been swift. While some small businesses welcome the cut and their ability to increase employment by having more staff and lower wages, there are a few companies who are refusing to fold. Handmade cosmetics brand Lush is one of them.

“On behalf of Lush Australia, we wish to advise that we will not be applying these reductions to the rates of pay our staff are currently paid,” a Facebook post from Lush Australia’s director Mark Lincoln stated. “We will continue to pay our staff under the existing terms and conditions for employees working on Sundays and public holidays.”

Confirmed by a statement this morning, the company further explained their reasoning.

“At Lush we have always had a commitment to trading fairly, committing to pay a fair trade premium to struggling communities who produce ingredients and components for our products,” the statement read.

“Applying Fair Work’s ruling on penalty rates is a choice. The happiest and most productive employees are those who feel safe, valued and listened to by their employers. We encourage other employers to carefully consider the implications on their employees before making the choice.”

Hear, hear.

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