Penalty rates reduced by Fair Work Commission

Penalty rates reduced by Fair Work Commission

23 February 2017

This morning, the Fair Work Commission announced Sunday penalty rates paid in retail, hospitality, fast food, and pharmacy industries will be reduced from 1 July 2017.

Conversations began on the topic to bring the Sunday rate in line with the lower Saturday rate back in 2015 and this reform was just one of several workplace relations recommendations made by the Productivity Commission to the Fair Work Commission.

Full-time and part-time workers in retail will have their Sunday penalty rates dropped from 200 per cent to 150 per cent of their standard hourly rate, while casuals will go from 200 per cent to 175 per cent.

Hospitality employees will face a reduction in Sunday pay from 175 per cent to 150 per cent, while casual hospitality workers' pay will remain unchanged at 175%.

Fast-food employees' Sunday rates will go from 150 per cent to 125 per cent for full-time and part-time staff, and casuals will go from 200 per cent to 175 per cent.

Public holiday rates in the hospitality and retail awards will also be cut for full-time and part-time employees from 250 per cent to 225 per cent.  Casual hospitality and retail workers will go from 275% to 250%.

Boyce Director, and President of the Cooma Chamber of Commerce, Kathy Kelly said this is a win particularly for small to medium businesses.

"It is an appropriate reflection on modern times. Whilst it is important to have some incentive for employees to work on weekends to date it has led many businesses to close at times when customers still have a demand" said Kathy. 

The controversial decision will no doubt have people divided. It means small regional businesses would be able to open their doors on Sunday’s as staff wages will be at a lower cost to them which also results in higher employment rates. Whilst some employees will be angered at a reduction to their back pocket.

If you have any questions in relation to this announcement, contact your local Boyce accountant.

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