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Avoid paying too much or too little from 1 July.

press release
30/4/2018

From 1 July, retail, hospitality, pharmacy, and food businesses will see a drop in penalty rates following the Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision last year.

This will be the second year of penalty rate changes by removing the variance between Sunday and Saturday rates. The first round of penalty rate cuts occurred in 2017, which saw Sunday and public holiday work rates slashed by 5 per cent. The full penalty rate reduction rollout is expected to be completed by 2020.

According to Australia’s largest workplace relations firm Employsure, representing close to 20,000 small and medium sized businesses, the reduction in penalty rates are welcomed and needed to reflect the 24/7 economy. Senior Employment Relations Adviser from Employsure Andrew Spiteri said, “Sunday hours are no more ‘unsociable’ than Saturday, which will progressively shift in line.”

“An overwhelming number of employers we have consulted with have reported they would increase employment and operating hours on Sundays and public holidays if penalty rates were reduced,” he said.  A view that was also reflected in Australian Industry Group surveys which was a key body of evidence used by the FWC in reaching its decision.

Andrew says the reduction in penalty rates has helped many small businesses remain trading on Sundays or public holidays, offer more jobs, and increase overall hours worked: “The small reduction will have a big impact on small businesses in industries operating on thin margins.”

New Penalty Rates.

 

HOSPITALITY AWARD (SUNDAY WORK)

 

Effective period Penalty Rate (Sunday Work)
(Full-time and part-time employees)
Penalty Rate (Sunday Work)
(Casual employees)
1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 170% 175%
1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 160% 175%
1 July 2019 onwards 150% 175%

 

 

PHARMACY AWARD (SUNDAY WORK BETWEEN 7AM – 9PM )

 

Effective period Penalty rate (Sunday work)
(Full-time and part-time employees)
Penalty rate (Sunday work)
(Casual employees)
1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 195% 220%
1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 180% 205%
1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 165% 190%
1 July 2020 onwards 150% 175%

 

 

FAST FOOD AWARD (SUNDAY WORK)

 

Effective period Penalty rate (Sunday work)
(Level 1 Full-time and
part-time employees)
Penalty rate (Sunday work)
(Level 1 Casual employees)
1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 145% 170%
1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 135% 160%
1 July 2019 onwards 125% 150%

 

 

RETAIL AWARD (SUNDAY WORK)

 

Effective period Penalty rate (Sunday work)
(Full-time and part-time employees)
Penalty rate (Sunday work)
(Casual employees)
1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 195% 195%
1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019 180% 185%
1 July 2019 to 20 June 2020 165% 175%
1 July 2020 onwards 150% 175%

 

 

While employers in the restaurant, hospitality, pharmacy, fast-food and retail industries receive some relief in the form of reduced penalty rates, also kicking in from 1 July is the increased National Minimum Wage by 3.5 percent. “Millions of employers, across all industries will need to come up with an extra $24.30 per week per employee, paid at the expense of their bottom line,” he said.

Having witnessed many SMEs frustrated by the increasing wages Andrew says: “Small business employers feel the pinch during the peak season and increasing consumer demand for longer operating hours.” To afford the increases to minimum wage, many SMEs have to adjust their business models: “Some simply need to reduce their profit targets and take their extra payroll costs from their profits.”

Andrew encourages employers to start getting prepared for the 1 July changes: “It’s so important to be across these changes and check if the new reduced penalty rates in addition to the increased minimum wage applies to your business. Get the right advice to avoid paying too much or too little.”

-Ends-

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Melissa Fanous

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