We asked pharmacy assistants and other retail staff about how the cuts to penalty rates will affect them

All comments have been de-identified for privacy purposes.

“I think that if the cuts mean I still would still have a job (they don’t currently affect me but I have always felt this way) then I don’t mind. I’d rather have a stable, paying job then be looking for work. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people looking for work at the moment.

“If this means the business I work at stays afloat then it’s better to take the cut. I understand it will be a huge loss for those who rely on the extra money but I the world is changing, consumers expect more – longer hours etc and someone has to draw the line somewhere. Equal pay for all employees across all working days, it’s only fair. It’s the way most industries are and will go anyway.”

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“I don’t think it’s fair because we have a lot of younger girls at work that give up their weekends so they can earn a bit of extra money, a lot of them are saving their money to travel etc, so it’s only fair they should get paid extra if they give up their weekends to work.”

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“I think pharmacy assistants are so underpaid for the experience and knowledge they require and have. Cut the Sunday rates etc if they must but please increase the base rates for pharmacy assistants… Pharmacy Assistants (all the ones I know) are passionate, caring and go above and beyond for their employers and customers.”

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“I’d like things to stay the way they are. It’s better for the employers but not the employees.”

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“I think employees will have less incentive to work weekends especially young people who are trying to pay their way through uni etc.”

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“Unfortunately in my old job there was no such thing as penalties, having just changed to a job where it will be paid only to have it taken away is disappointing but since I worked without it for so many years I won’t notice anyway. However I do wish they weren’t being cut.”

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“I think staff will be less inclined to put their hands up to work Sundays & public holidays with the new penalty rates & pharmacies may find it hard to cover these shifts.”

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“I work full time which includes every Saturday so it’s fair to say that I am not happy about the change. However, i enjoy my job and it has never been about the money.”

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“Pharmacy assistants are one of lowest paid in retail staff, cutting penalty rates I think it will be become harder to find committed staff in the future.”

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“I believe that if a staff member doesn’t feel inclined to work for various reasons then the pressure falls on me as retail manager to fill the spot. Not always to my benefit as a full time employee or to the business as in the long run I cost more than a junior on Sunday rates. It causes conflict amongst the staff as it is always the same people who pick up the slack. Take away penalty rates for Sunday & it makes it that much harder!”

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“It’s not fair… i have a 4 month old and have gone back to work weekends for some extra income for the family..miss out on family time together as Hubby only gets weekends off. With the cuts it’s going to be not worth going back to work. I’ve been in pharmacy 20 years …love working in this industry. But to drop pay is ridiculous pharmacy in general is under paid as it is.”

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“I think our wage value for that we do in pharmacy is too low anyway and this just makes it worse.”

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“Totally not fair, our wage is low as it is with the amount of work we do.

“People are giving up time with families to work so they should get extra money for doing that.”

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“I am thinking increase base rates as for many all days are the same as we move forward. Not many go to church Sunday or can go another day.”

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“I work 3 week nights, Saturday night and Sunday night. Saturdays, after 12 used to be well paid – not any more so no one wants to work. I miss going to football games and spending time with my family as they all work normal 5 day Monday to Friday jobs. I’d accept a pay cut if it happened to everyone – firemen, nurses, police, etc. We all know that’s never going to happen!”