Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected claims the government is ''leaning on'' the industrial umpire in a bid to cut penalty rates.
In its submission to a Fair Work Commission review of the award system, the government asked whether extra pay for working particular times of the day was appropriate in a particular industry.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten accused the Prime Minister of being out of touch with ordinary Australians.
Mr Abbott rejected this but acknowledged penalty rates were ''very, very important'' to the low paid.
In Melbourne the first hearing of the four-yearly review into awards was held.
The story Tony Abbott accused of pressuring Fair Work Commission to cut penalty rates first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.