Cuts to weekend penalty rates by the Fair Work Commission will mean more people will need to seek assistance from charities, says St Vincent de Paul Society CEO John Falzon.
"Cutting penalty rates will not create jobs but it will build inequality," Dr Falzon said in the Vinnies statement.
"This is an attack on people who already struggle to survive and for whom penalty rates make an important difference from week to week.
"This cut will disproportionately affect women, young people and people who already carry the burden of inequality. The rights of workers should take priority over the maximisation of profits," Dr Falzon added.
"There's nothing innovative about increasing the numbers of the working poor in prosperous Australia. And this is happening in the context of the government's systematic assault on the social security safety net.
"This decision will result in more people needing to seek assistance from charities. The answer, however, is not charity. It is justice.
"We cannot build a strong and fair economy on the misguided premise that people should need to turn to charity to top up their inadequate incomes.
"Today is a sad day in our nation's history. We stand with the people who have been affected," Dr Falzon said.