Tourism industry calls for cut to penalty rates and red tape

THE tourism industry has called for reforms to penalty rates and red tape associated with employing workers, in a submission to a key government inquiry.

Under the banner of the National Tourism Alliance, 13 tourism bodies have urged the Productivity Commission to recommend changing penalty rates.

While NTA chief executive Juliana Payne wrote tourism employers did not want penalty rates scrapped, it sought to have them "moderated through the Fair Work process".

Ms Payne wrote employers in the "highly labour-intensive, 24/7 service industry" were suffering under an "unworkable" penalty rates system.

"In addition, and especially in regional areas, tourism and hospitality businesses are affected by seasonality, as well as a smaller pool of available labour," she wrote.

The industry also called for cuts to the paperwork associated with employing staff, from tax to health and safety regulations.

It comes as unions prepare submissions to argue for higher penalty rates and a minimum wage increase.