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Business Group Uses Women's Day To Say Penalty Rate Cut Is Good For Women

'Women stand to benefit from changes to penalty rates', says The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

08/03/2017 2:22 PM AEDT | Updated 08/03/2017 3:22 PM AEDT
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A not great thing to tweet on International Women's Day

Wednesday is International Women's Day, a day when the world comes together to celebrate the contribution women make to society, as well as reflect on and recognise the barriers to true gender equality still facing society.

It is also the day that business group The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry used to make the case for a cut to penalty rates, and argued that women should actually be grateful for lower weekend wages.

Yeah.

The Fair Work Commission last month ruled Sunday penalty rates in the retail, hospitality and fast food sector be cut. As we reported, women will be disproportionately affected by this cut to penalty rates, as they "constitute 71.6 percent of all part-time employees... 54.7 percent of all casual employees", the work classifications to be affected by penalty rate cuts, according to government statistics.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry thought they'd kill two birds with one stone, sending off a tweet marking International Women's Day while also spruiking the penalty rates cut as a win for women.

To be quite honest, it did not go down very well.

Like, it went really badly.

Someone noticed that, despite the social media graphic saying "bold for change", the chamber itself didn't seem to hold itself to that same ethos.

While others, like the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, were just plain confused.

As Fairfax Media revealed this week, this very business group is one of those which -- while pushing a cut to penalty rates for weekend staff -- doesn't open its office on Sundays.

"The office is currently unattended," an answering machine message said, when a Fairfax journalist called at 2:58pm on Sunday.

Woops.

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