Lower weekend penalty rates for retail and hospitality employers

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has today handed down its long awaited penalty rate decision, in which CCI and other employer associations made substantive arguments seeking a reduction in the penalties that apply to Sunday and public holiday work in the retail and hospitality industry.

The FWC has heard the concerns raised by a large number of CCI’s members that current penalty rates are affecting their decision to open on these days, limiting employment opportunities for staff and negatively impacting on their ability to meet the needs of customers.

Whilst it is not all good news, their decision will go some way to alleviating a number of concerns of businesses in these industries.

In the case of work performed on Sundays, the decision will make the following changes.

 Award

 Sunday Penalty Rate

 Hospitality Award

 Full-time and part-time employees:

 (no change for casuals)

 

 175 per cent to 150 per cent

 Fast Food Award

 (Level 1 employees only)

 Full-time and part-time employees:

 Casual employees:

 

 

 150 per cent to 125 per cent

 175 per cent to 150 per cent

 Retail Award

 Full-time and part-time employees:

 Casual employees:

 

 200 per cent to 150 per cent

 200 per cent to 175 per cent

 Pharmacy Award

 (7.00 am – 9.00 pm only)

 Full-time and part-time employees:

 Casual employees:

 

 

 200 per cent to 150 per cent

 200 per cent to 175 per cent

In reducing the Sunday rates the FWC has identified that the impact of Sunday work on employees is not what it once was, but in their view it still has a greater impact on their family and personal life than Saturday work. Unfortunately, the Restaurant Award and Clubs Award miss out on the change, with the FWC concluding that there was no need to reduce the Sunday rate for these awards.

However, employers covered by the Restaurant Award and Fast Food Award will benefit from a reduction in the number of hours to which the late night allowances apply. These allowances will now apply from 10pm to 6am. [1]

The decision will also result in the public holiday penalty rate generally being reduced in the Restaurant Award, Hospitality Award, Fast Food Award, Retail Award and Pharmacy Award. For full time and part time employees the new penalty rate will be 225 per cent, whilst for casuals it will be 250 per cent.

For most casuals there is no change in the public holiday rate, which is reflective of the FWC belief that full time and part time employment should be encouraged over casual positions. This will limit the benefit derived from the decision given that most workers employed on these days are casuals.

The new penalty rates for public holiday work will take effect on 1 July 2017, but we have no date for when the new Sunday rates will apply.

The FWC is concerned that the changes to Sunday penalties will cause some hardship to existing employees and will therefore establish a transitional arrangement to phase in the new rates. Further hearings will be held to determine what the transitional period will look like.   

►For further information on this decision, please contact CCI’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on 08 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com. Members who subscribe to our award service will also receive updates as the changes take effect.

CCI would also like to thank those members who contributed to our submissions by participating in our penalty rates survey. Your stories allowed us to provide a compelling argument for change.


[1] These changes will take effect in late March with a date yet to be specified.



CCI MEMBERSHIP
Find out the benefits of being a member, contact us today.
P 1300 4 CCIWA (1300 4 22492)
membership@cciwa.com