Media release: CAPA backs Victorian Government’s call to reinstate penalty rates
The Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations (CAPA) is alarmed by the findings of the Victorian Government’s inquiry into penalty rates, and echoes the inquiry committee’s call to reinstate penalty rates to their previous levels.
The report released by the Victorian Government yesterday argued that women, young people, and rural and regional workers have been further marginalised by Federal government’s cuts to penalty rates implemented last year.
Unsurprisingly, the report found that the proposed economic benefits of slashing penalty rates had not been borne out. While the inquiry committee noted that employers said they would be able to hire more staff and give staff additional hours with the reduction in penalty rates, neither of these benefits have materialised.
CAPA believes the reduction of Sunday penalty rates for employees in hospitality, retail, and pharmacy is a clear attack on young Australians, who overwhelmingly work in these sectors. Students who attend university during the week and work on weekends are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of penalty rate cuts.
Financial struggle is typical for postgraduate students, many of whom rely on casual work to mitigate the cost of living as they undertake their studies. As CAPA argued in our submission to the Federal penalty rates inquiry, a decrease in the income of postgraduate students is likely to push students into part-time rather than full-time study, which will have an adverse impact on completion rates.
Postgraduate students are a demographically diverse group, ranging from young people who have not yet entered into the full-time workforce, to older students who are returning to study and are more likely to have family commitments such as caring for young children and elderly parents.
“Postgraduate students overwhelmingly tell us that they are struggling financially and that this is a huge source of stress alongside their demanding studies,” says CAPA National President, Natasha Abrahams.
“The cuts to penalty rates have only added to the existing hardships faced by students, who now work the same hours for less money.”
For comment: CAPA National President Natasha Abrahams
M: 0430 076 993