A Nationals MP wants to even the playing field between small and big businesses over penalty rates and he's breaking ranks in the process.
George Christensen has teamed up with Nick Xenophon Team MP Rebekha Sharkie to sponsor private legislation that aims to protect penalty rates.
Like a similar Labor bill, it would prevent the Fair Work Commission reducing Sunday penalty rates for retail, fast food and hospitality workers to match Saturday rates from July 1.
But the legislation, to be introduced to parliament on Monday, will go a step further.
It would reinstate Sunday penalty rates for workers whose individual take-home pay is less under an enterprise bargaining agreement than it would be under award rates.
Asked how it would benefit small business, Mr Christensen said it was about evening up the playing field.
"Most of the big businesses, the Big W's, the KFC's ... they've all widdled away penalty rates for their workers because the unions have agreed to it," he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
"That includes workers that work only on Sundays."
The MP cited the example of a Coles store in his central Queensland electorate which pays different penalty rates to a family-run fresh fruit store opposite.
Mr Christensen, who admits he won't get the support of the government, doesn't think the bill could force an election if passed.
But he's still urging Labor to support his and Ms Sharkie's push.
The changes would only apply to future enterprise agreements after advice it wouldn't be constitutionally valid to make it retrospective.
The opposition has already labelled the move a stunt.