British woman shocked by Australian working rule after taking a job in hospitality: ‘Insane’

British woman shocked by Australian working rule after taking a job in hospitality: ‘Insane’

A British woman who moved to Australia has revealed her shock after discovering how much money a person can earn working on a public holiday due to penalty rates.

Tara, from Merseyside in north west England, made the move to Australia after suffering burnout while working in a senior position at a corporate tech company in London

The 29-year-old decided she needed to change her life and made the drastic move to Melbourne, where she now works in the hospitality industry.  

In a video shared to TikTok, Tara was astonished to discover her hourly rate was $65 for working as a hostess at a restaurant on Good Friday.

In Australia, penalty rates include additional payments made to employees who work on public holidays and overtime pay.

The specific penalty rates for public holidays can vary depending on the industry, type of employment, and any relevant agreements in place. 

Tara labelled the pay rate for public holidays as ‘insane’, explaining in a single 12-hour shift she would earn enough to cover half her rent for the month. 

‘The hourly public holiday rates in Australia are actually insane. I’m working 12 hours today but I’m getting paid like $65 an hour cause I’m on a casual contract,’ Tara said. 

‘That like is paying for almost half my rent in one shift. That’s paying for my Glastonbury ticket (a five-day music festival in Somerset, England) and more in one shift. It’s just insane.’

Tara added that Australia was a place where someone could make ‘very good money’ while also enjoying their life. 

‘It’s an actual place where you can earn very, very, very good money and just have a sick time while you’re doing it,’ Tara said. 

‘I literally love that I’ve gone into hospitality and not back into my corporate job because I’m just having loads of fun.’ 

Public holiday rates depend on the industry and employee status - casual, full-time or part-time - however, the current agreement for hospitality workers is a 25 per cent loading on top of the ordinary pay rate

The British expat explained that working the public holidays has helped her afford to travel. 

Other social media users agreed with Tara, with many sharing the high amounts they earn when working a public holiday. 

‘Here’s to me being on $130 an hour today, 10 hours,’ one person commented. 

‘Three shifts over this Easter weekend at $110 an hour!’ another wrote. 

‘People working public holidays deserve everything they get. I’m on $94 an hour over Easter. Lovely,’ a third chimed. 

A fourth person who works as a youth worker explained they would earn $865 for an eight hour shift on a public holiday, while two others declared their public holiday rates were $89 and $96 per hour.

While public holidays can vary between the country’s states and territories, Australia has a total of nine national public holidays a year. 

National public holidays include New Year’s Day (January 1), Australia Day (January 26), Good Friday (March 29), Easter Saturday (March 30), Easter Sunday (March 31), Easter Monday (April 1) Anzac Day (April 25), Christmas Day (December 25) and Boxing Day (December 26).

Antoinette Milienos

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