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Small Business Ombudsman looks to New Zealand for effect of penalty rate cut

Article image for Small Business Ombudsman looks to New Zealand for effect of penalty rate cut

As the debate about penalty rates rages on, it’s being suggested we look across the ditch for inspiration.

A report from the Fair Work Commission on whether penalty rates should be amended is due for release early next year, but in the meantime, lobby groups on both sides continue to argue.

Small Business Ombudsman Kate Carnell told Neil Mitchell she wants meaningful debate free from political or union influence.

Ms Carnell said New Zealand has a similar economy to our own, and can be viewed as a model for what would happen here.

‘When New Zealand reduced Sunday penalty rates, businesses opened longer hours and they employed more people,’ she said.

Ms Carnell said removing penalty rates and simply increasing the hourly rate would leave people who only work on weekends worse off. 

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