Tip of the iceberg: weekend work and penalty pay in 108 Australian industries

Employment Labour market Work insecurity Weekend work Penalty rates Australia

Australians continue to debate the Fair Work Commission’s recent decision to reduce Sunday and holiday penalty rates for retail and hospitality workers. This report investigates the prevalence of weekend work in other sectors of Australia’s economy - and confirms the overall economic importance of extra income generated by weekend penalty rates, not just in retail and hospitality.

The analysis is based on detailed new data on employment on Saturdays and Sundays in 108 different Australian industries. It finds that weekend work is common in almost all sectors of the economy - with an average of 2.75 million Australian employees on the job on a typical weekend. The extra income generated by penalty rates and related provisions for that weekend work is estimated to add over $14 billion per year to the pay packets of weekend workers.

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