There are two ways of looking at labor: –

An employer purchasing a workers time;

Or, an employee selling his working time.

Each time slot may have different value to the employee and for a government to determine that all time is of the same value degrades the employee to a good or chattel. The value of time is related to what is forgone from other aspects of life during the proposed work hours. For example the attendance of a significant family or religious event would be considered more valued than some other times – the list goes on and as such time is valued differently at different times of the day.

Christians for Community, therefore, rejects the notion that was put forward by the Productivity Commission, Big Business and mainstream politicians that cutting workers’ penalty rates would result in increased job opportunities and spur growth, as there has never been any factual evidence to support this unsubstantiated claim.

Attacking Penalty rates will impact the most vulnerable in our workforce as any reduction or removal of penalty rates will disproportionately affect low-paid workers and their families, who would then need to work extra hours to receive the same income.

Furthermore, cutting penalty rates will have a detrimental impact on family time especially on Sunday for Christians which is a day of rest and worship for many; as well Saturdays for our Jewish communities, besides the other religious groups special days. Those compelled to work on weekends should be compensated accordingly.

The push for the 24 hour economy is behind the move to make wages to become standardized across all time frames. This devalues our social and religious culture as well as our families as being strong contributors to all that underpins our moral and political values of this country.

The Christians for Community must and will support penalty rates and defend our culture at the same time.