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Penalty Rates Changes 2017 - Update

On 23 February 2017, we reported that the Fair Work Commission had handed down a decision to vary certain penalty rate provisions in some awards for the hospitality, restaurant and retail industries. This decision affects the penalty rate provisions for some permanent and casual employees who perform work on Sundays, public holidays, evenings or after midnight within these industries. 

On 5 June 2017 the Fair Work Commission handed down a further decision about how the changes to Sunday penalty rates will be introduced.

The Fair Work Commission, has ruled that the contentious decision to reduce existing Sunday penalty rates will be phased in gradually over the next 3 or 4 financial years. This means that the full penalty rate changes will not take full effect until 2019 and 2020 depending on the award and industry employees are covered by. This phasing in process will commence from 1 July 2017.

The following awards are affected by the penalty rate changes:

·         General Retail Industry Award 2010 

·         Fast Food Industry Award 2010 

·         Restaurant Industry Award 2010 

·         Pharmacy Industry Award 2010  

·         Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010

The Fair Work Commission is currently still in the process of reviewing the Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2010 but at this stage have not made any changes.

When do, the changes start?

Public Holiday Penalty Rates

The changes to public holiday penalty rates start from 1 July 2017. These changes will apply in full.

Evening Work Penalty Rates

The changes to the evening work and after midnight penalties in the Restaurant and Fast Food Awards will start from 1 July 2017.

 

Sunday Penalty Rates

Depending on the award, the changes to Sunday penalty rates are being introduced over 3 or 4 years starting from 1 July 2017.

·         In the Fast Food Industry Award 2010, the changes will be phased in over 3 years for all employees

·         In the General Retail Industry Award 2010, the changes will be phased in over 4 years for full-time and part-time employees and over 3 years for casual employees

·         In the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010, the changes will be phased in over 3 years for full-time and part-time employees (there are no Sunday changes for casual employees)

·         In the Pharmacy Industry Award 2010, the changes will be phased in over 4 years for all employees.

·         There are no changes to Sunday rates for the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.

Sunday Penalty Rates Transition Details

Although the Commission has now handed down its decision about how the implementation of penalty rate changes should occur, it will settle the final form of these changes in coming weeks.

Based on information released from the Commission to date, the transition details for the reductions in Sunday penalty rates across each of the four industries

The specific rates applicable to the above awards are detailed in our membership resources on our website under AWARDS.

 If you have any questions about this or any other HR matter, you can contact HR Advice Online by sending an email to [email protected] or by calling 1300 720 004.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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