On 19 June 2017, the Senate referred the following matter to the Education and Employment References Committee for inquiry and report:
- claims that many employees working for large employers receive lower penalty rates under their enterprise agreements on weekends and public holidays than those set by the relevant modern award, giving those employers a competitive advantage over smaller businesses that pay award rates;
- the operation, application and effectiveness of the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) for enterprise agreements made under the Fair Work Act 2009;
- the desirability of amending the Fair Work Act 2009 to ensure that enterprise agreements do not contain terms that specify penalty rates which are lower than the respective modern award;
- the provisions of the Fair Work Amendment (Pay Protection) Bill 2017; and
- any other related matter related to penalty rates in the retail, hospitality and fast-food sectors.
Submissions are to be received by 18 July 2017. The committee has resolved to report on 4 October 2017.