Easy like Sunday mourning: Fair Work Commission slashes penalty rates

In a recent landmark decision of the Fair Work Commission (Commission), penalty rates in respect of Sunday and Public Holiday work have been slashed in a number of industries, including the retail and hospitality industry.

 Key changes

  1. Award-covered employees in those industries affected by the Commission decision will have their penalty rates reduced by varying degrees in respect of Sunday work and Public Holiday work.

  2. Full-time and part-time employees covered by the General Retail (Industry) Award 2010 received the biggest reduction in penalty rates for Sunday work, namely a drop from 200% to 150%.

 Implementation of key changes

  1. The changes to Public Holiday penalty rates will take effect on 1 July 2017.

  2. The Commission has noted that appropriate transitional arrangements to "phase-in" any reduction to penalty rates are necessary to mitigate the hardship the reduction may cause to employees who work on Sundays.

  3. The Commission has made the following provisional observations in anticipation of any final determination on the issue of transitional arrangements:

    1. the reductions in Sunday penalty rates could take place in a series of annual adjustments on 1 July each year (commencing 1 July 2017); and

    2. it is likely (though not yet determined) that at least 2 instalments will be required (but less than 5 instalments).

 How we can help

  1. Provide you with advice in relation to your employees' minimum entitlements should your business have any queries in relation to the appropriate rate of pay for your award covered employees; and

  2. Provide you with advice and assistance in relation to the implementation of this decision by the Commission as it applies to your business.



Dean Schubert