Practice-Led Research


The Issue

´The Issue´ is a weekly web series discussing the issues concerning you. The first episode will focus on the effect the penalty rate cuts will have on immigrants in Australia.


Our group consists of Dylan, Jason, Jeremy and myself. Our Digital Story is about The Fair Work Commission´ penalty rate cuts and how it´s going to affect immigrants.

According to unions, the decision will affect around 700,000 workers, including some of the lowest paid who need the penalty loading to survive.


An issue we´ve had regarding this assignment is how to angle the story and make the penalty rate cut strongly and solely about cultural difference. At first, we wanted the focus to be on how the cut will affect youth because cutting Sunday penalty rates will hurt young people the most (Daly 2014). After a discussion with our tutor, it was clear that we needed a stronger cultural focus/aim. Therefore, we decided to make the documentary about how the cut will affect immigrants. People from overseas take up a good percent of the jobs in retail, hospitality and fast food industry in Australia. Therefore, it´s a group that will get affected badly by the cuts.

It is hard to find data, let alone any information about immigrants in the work field. The information I´ve gathered is mainly looking at gender and age. The cut will worsen the gender pay gap.

According to The SDA, Australia’s largest union, cuts to penalty rates will hurt women the most (2017). In the article ´how the penalty rates decision hurts women´ published in The Sydney Morning Herald, Caitlin Fitzsimmons writes “A cut in penalty rates isn’t anything to do with equalising Saturday and Sunday and whether or not we go to church on a Sunday. It’s actually just a pay cut for young people and women.”

A big issue for us is to find data that supports what we already know; foreign workers are going to suffer from this. Even though everyone in the industry gets affected by the cuts, the younger generation and women will struggle the most. Our biggest task/challenge will be to find the right interviewees for this story. And actually having to find the information by interviewing people and the unions.

We´re going to solve this by contacting the unions and talk to immigrants who is affected by the cuts to gather our own data, looking at different Visa holders and in which industry they work.



Daly, T. (2014). Evenings, nights and weekends: Working unsocial hours and penalty rates. Available: Last accessed 10th April 2017.

Fitzsimmons, C. (2017). How the penalty rates decision hurts women. Available: Last accessed 11th April 2017.

Gartrell, A. (2017). Penalty rate cuts to hasten “mass casualisation” of Australian workforce: report. Available: Last accessed 10th April 2017.

Jager, C. (2017). Sunday Penalty Rates Slashed: How Will It Affect You? Read more at Available: Last accessed 10th April 2017.

-. (2017). About the penalty rates case. Available: Last accessed 11th April 2017.

-. (2017). About the SDA. Available: Last accessed 10th April 2017.




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