Why is the time of low-paid workers less valuable?

Just three days before Christmas the Productivity Commission has recommended the Federal Government reduce Sunday penalty rates to the rate of Saturdays. But only for those in retail and hospitality industries! This is insulting to those in generally low paid work and it devalues Sundays and time for families and community. Penalty rates are about compensating the time we give up. Why is the time of some workers and their families less valuable than others?

Catholics have a vital role to play in raising our voice for the preciousness of time with our families, Sunday worship and the sacredness and dignity of fair work and every person.

The Justice and Peace Office will be working on this issue in the New Year. We want to bring a Catholic voice to this debate. If you or someone you love has worked or currently works in the retail and hospitality sectors and you’d like to see their time continue to be valued just the same as people in other industries who work on Sundays please get in touch with us. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, please check out the Save Our Weekend campaign and get involved.

If you are able to spend this Christmas with loved ones and enjoy time off from work together, please remember those not so fortunate and include them and their families in your prayers.