The Fair Work Commission has today announced that penalty rates for Sunday and public holiday work in certain modern awards, including in the hospitality sector, will be reduced from 1 July 2017.

Reductions

Reductions to rates in the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 will be as follows: • Sunday penalty rates for full time and part time employees will decrease from 175% to 150%. There are no changes to Sunday penalty rates for casuals. • Public holiday penalty rates for full and part time employees will decrease from 250% to 225%, and for casuals from 275% to 250%.

Timing

The Full Bench observed that the decision was likely to reduce the earnings of those employees who currently work on Sundays and would inevitably cause some hardship to those employees affected.

The Full Bench concluded that appropriate transitional arrangements were necessary to mitigate the hardship caused to employees who work on Sundays. Accordingly, the reductions in Sunday penalty rates will take place in a series of annual instalments commencing 1 July 2017 (with interested parties to make submissions to the Fair Work Commission regarding transitional arrangements). However, the Full Bench indicated that it will likely take at least two years to introduce the proposed changes to penalty rates on a Sunday.

The changes to public holiday penalty rates will take effect on 1 July 2017. For further information, see link