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.
- 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.
- 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
- The changes to Public Holiday penalty rates will take effect on 1 July 2017.
- 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.
- The Commission has made the following provisional observations in anticipation of any final determination on the issue of transitional arrangements:
- 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
- it is likely (though not yet determined) that at least 2 instalments will be required (but less than 5 instalments).