Move to trim hairdresser penalty rates slammed

No need to mullet over: Karissa Campbell and Grace Apps do not want hairdresser penalty rates slashed. Picture: Craig Thomson.
No need to mullet over: Karissa Campbell and Grace Apps do not want hairdresser penalty rates slashed. Picture: Craig Thomson.

A push by the Australian Industry Group for a change to penalty rates for hairdressers on behalf of Hair and Beauty Australia has been slammed by a Young hairdressing salon owner and her staff.

AI Group chief executive Innes Willox said it would propose the Sunday rate be reduced from 200 per cent to 150 per cent and public holiday rates be changed from 250 per cent to 225 per cent.

"In its major penalty rates decision in February this year, the Fair Work Commission expressed its intention to review weekend penalty rates in the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010," Mr Willox said.

"The commission highlighted that the hair and beauty industry has some similar characteristics to the retail and hospitality industries in which Sunday and public holiday penalties were adjusted."

But Young hairdressers are annoyed at the move to decrease their penalty rates.

Scissor Sisters Young owner Karissa Campbell said she would oppose the decision, saying penalty rates are just another "business expense". 

"Our hairdressers get paid 33 percent more to work on weekends, and I have no problem paying it because it is a reasonable business expense," she said.

"We accept we have to pay our staff more on a Saturday and it's a fair trade off because a lot of our customers work so they can only see us then, so subsequently we have a Saturday filled with appointments.

"I am happy to support our girls and if I choose to open on a Saturday than I just have to bite the bullet and pay them a higher wage and I am happy to accept that."

Hairdresser Grace Apps said she is thankful she has a boss that recognises penalty rates should be paid.

"I think our penalty rates should remain, it's a bit of incentive for us to work weekend's, we don't get a very high base wage, and we do work a late night during the week also," she said.

“It’s good that Karissa can see things the way she does.

"We give up time with our families to work Saturday, so I don't think our penalty rates should be cut at all."