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: Penalty Rates in Australia

When it comes to debates about employment relations matters, there is no black and white, no right or wrong. Employment relations stakeholders often have different and sometimes competing views, and expected alliances can often shift depending on the issue.


  1. 400 words (+/- 10%) – From a stakeholder perspective, what were the main arguments for and against the reduction in Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy workers?
  2. 300 words (+/- 10%) – At the time of the Fair Work Commission’s 2017 decision to reduce penalty rates, how would this decision have been viewed from the two ethical positions – (1) Consequentialism and (2) Deontology? (Note, you need to consider how the decision would be viewed by others, not the approach you think the FWC adopted).
  3. 300 words (+/- 10%) – Adopting either a deontology or consequentialist perspective, do you believe the decision of the Fair Work Commission to enforce the final Sunday penalty rate cut on 1 July 2020 was ethical? Explain.