By Danielle Bowling

The hotel and tourism sector offers unparalleled opportunities for growth, but the current award conditions work against both hospitality businesses and workers, said Martin Ferguson, chair of Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).

The Fair Work Commission has wrapped up hearings into the review of the Hospitality award, with its final decision due in mid-2016. The Australian Hotels Associations (AHA) is calling for Fair Work to follow the lead of the Productivity Commission and recommend that Sunday penalty rates be amended to match those paid to staff members working on Saturdays. It’s also pushing for a reduction of penalty rates paid on public holidays and has recommended that the terminology change from ‘penalty rate’ to ‘additional remuneration.’

“…The term ‘penalty rate’ or ‘penalty’ implies punishment, when in fact they are loadings on standard rates,” Ferguson wrote, in an opinion piece sent to the media.

AHA is also asking for greater flexibility in part-time work conditions, enabling more workers to be employed under part-time contracts rather than casual arrangements.

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This story first appeared in Hospitality Magazine.