Your guide to penalty rates changes

Posted on March 1st, 2017

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The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has recently conducted a review of modern awards to determine whether they are achieving their objectives. As part of the review, various employer bodies in the hospitality and retail sectors made applications to vary penalty rate provisions.

The Full Bench decided that Sunday penalty rates in the Hospitality, Fast Food, Retail and Pharmacy Awards do not achieve the objectives of modern awards, as they do not provide a “fair and relevant minimum safety net”.

Consequently, the following changes to Sunday penalty rates will take effect on 1 July 2017:

Award Sunday penalty rates (%)
Full-time and part-time Casual
Hospitality Award 175 -> 50 No change
Retail Award 200 -> 150 200 -> 175
Fast Food Award (level 1 employees only) 150 -> 125 175 -> 150
Pharmacy Award (7.00am-9.00pm only) 200 -> 150 200 -> 175

The Full Bench also decided to reduce public holiday penalty rates as follows:

Award Public Holiday penalty rates (%)
Full-time and part-time Casual
Hospitality Award 250 -> 225 275 -> 250
Restaurant Award 250 -> 225 250 (no change)
Clubs Award 250 (no  change) 250 (no change)
Retail Award 250 -> 225 275/250 -> 250
Fast Food Award 250 -> 225 275 -> 250
Pharmacy Award 250 -> 225 275 -> 250

The Full Bench has not reached a concluded view on transitional arrangements and proposes to seek submissions from interested parties on this issue.

Katie ThompsonKatie Thompson is a Solicitor at Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors and practises in the Commercial dispute resolution and litigation team. If you require any assistance in this area please contact Katie Thompson to arrange a consultation or contact our Newcastle or Sydney office. 

 

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