In a recent and significant decision for retailers and employers captured by the General Retail Industry Award 2010, the Fair Work Commission has handed down its decision following the 4 yearly review of the Award and has determined to increase penalty rates for casual retail employees on Saturdays and weeknights after 6:00pm. In addition, the Commission has also determined to reduce the Sunday shiftwork penalty rate for both permanent and casual employees.

The changes to the penalty rates will be phased over 3 years with the Saturday penalty rate for casuals to be increased by an additional 25% by 1 March 2020 and with the evening work penalty rate for casuals to be increased by an additional 25% by 1 March 2021. By 1 July 2020 the Sunday shiftwork penalty rate for permanent employees will be reduced from 200% to 175% and for casual employees the Sunday shiftwork penalty rate will be reduced from 225% to 200%.

The changes will be phased as follows:

Sunday Shiftwork Penalty Rate

  • Current - FT & PT Shiftworkers - 200% | Casual shiftworkers - 225%

  • 1 November 2018 - FT & PT Shiftworkers - 195% | Casual shiftworkers - 220%

  • 1 July 2019 - FT & PT Shiftworkers - 190% | Casual shiftworkers - 215%

  • 1 July 2020 - FT & PT Shiftworkers - 175% | Casual shiftworkers - 200%

Evening Work – Monday to Friday

  • 1 November 2018 - Casual Employees - 5%

  • 1 October 2019 - Casual Employees - 10%

  • 1 March 2020 - Casual Employees - 15%

  • 1 October 2020 - Casual Employees - 20%

  • 1 March 2021 - Casual Employees - 25%

Saturday Work

  • 1 November 2018 - Casual Employees - 15%

  • 1 October 2019 - Casual Employees - 20%

  • 1 March 2020 - Causal Employees - 25%

With the first phase of increases to apply from 1 November 2018, employers should ensure they are informed of and promptly implement the changes for all applicable employees.