News

24 February 2017

How do the changes to penalty rates affect you?

Yesterday the Fair Work Commission handed down a decision to vary the current Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for employees in the retail, hospitality, fast food, restaurant and pharmacy industries.

At this point in time, no changes have been made to the Restaurant Award in relation to weekend penalty rates and no changes to any rates in the Registered and Licensed Clubs Award.  However the Commission has stated that it will be reviewing these awards into the future, and has invited submissions from these industries.

The changes to the public holiday rates will take effect from 1 July 2017.  At this stage the Commission has not stated a date for when the Sunday penalty rate reduction will take place.

The proposed changes are as follows:

Retail Award

Changes to Sunday rates:
 

Full-time and part-time employees

Casual employees

 

Change from 200% to 150%

Change from 200% to 175%

Changes to public holiday rates:
 

Full-time and part-time employees

Casual employees

 

Change from 250% to 225%

Change from 275/250% to 250%

Hospitality Award

Changes to Sunday rates:
 

Full-time and part-time employees

No change to casual employees

 

Change from 175% to 150%

 

Changes to public holiday rates:
 

Full-time and part-time employees

Casual employees

 

Change from 250% to 225%

Change from 275% to 250%

Fast Food Award

Changes to Sunday rates:
 

Level 1 full-time and part-time employees

Casual employees

 

Change from 150% to 125%

Change from 175% to 150%

Changes to public holiday rates:
 

Full-time and part-time employees

Casual employees

 

Change from 250% to 225%

Change from 275% to 250%

Restaurant Award

Changes to Sunday rates:No changes
 

Changes to public holiday rates:

 

Full-time and part-time employees

No change to casual employees

 

Change from 250% to 225%

 

Pharmacy Award

Changes to Sunday rates:
Only affects employees working between 7:00 am  and 9:00 pm
 

Full-time and part-time employees

Casual employees

 

Change from 200% to 150%

Change from 200% to 175%

Changes to public holiday rates:
 

Full-time and part-time employees

Casual  employees

 

Change from 250% to 225%

Change from 275% to 250%

The Commission has stated that the changes are aimed at creating jobs and boosting economic growth.  However, since the release of the decision, there has been significant backlash from the community, state governments, including the Queensland Government and unions.  This backlash is likely to lead to the lobbying of the Federal Government to pass laws protecting penalty rates.

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