State Member for Dandenong, Gabrielle Williams, has been appointed Chair of a new Victorian Parliamentary Committee to examine the impact of the Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates.

The Andrews Labor Government last Thursday moved a motion to establish The Penalty Rates and Fair Pay Select Committee, which will investigate the impact of penalty rate cuts on award reliant workers, women and young people across the state. The Committee will provide its report by 1 September 2017.

The Fair Work Commission’s recent decision will result in a cut to a range of Sunday and holiday penalty rates, hitting young workers and women in the fast food, retail and hospitality sectors the hardest.

Cutting the penalty rate means that retail workers stand to lose at least $72 from their Sunday pay. The Commission is now considering even more penalty cuts in the hair and beauty, tourism, clubs and restaurant industries. This could leave even more Victorians facing a cut to their take home pay.

One in six local workers rely on award wages and penalty rates are critical for many to make ends meet, put food on the table and pay their bills.

Deputy Leader David Hodgett confirmed the Victorian Liberals support the massive cuts to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates, despite the widespread damage this will have on many workers.

In stark contrast, the Labor Government made a submission to the FWC review strongly opposing any change to penalty rates, and has highlighted the need to support low-paid workers. This Committee will investigate possible safeguards and federal legislative changes.