Unions say removing or reducing penalty rates for fast food, retail and hospitality workers will hurt families.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions today lodged its submission to a Fair Work Australia review of the awards system and responded to calls to reduce or remove penalty rates.

The ACTU says fast food, retail and hospitality workers are among the lowest paid in the country, and taking away their penalty rates would make life unaffordable for many of them.

AAP