More Sunday Penalty Rates Cuts Come Info Effect This Week

Published July 03, 2019 (last updated July 21, 2020) -

Australia’s reduction in Sunday penalty rates will continue this week, affecting permanent and casual employees in the General Retail Industry, Hospitality Industry (General), Fast Food Industry and Pharmacy Industry Awards.

These cuts are part of a long-term reduction in Sunday penalty rates. Staggered over a number of years, this week’s changes will be the last reduction for some Awards and the penultimate change for others.

Related: Understanding Minimum Wage and Award Wages In Australia

What are the changes?

The most complex change is to workers who fall under the General Retail Industry Award, with different rates for shiftworkers and non-shiftworkers (as defined in the Award itself). These two categories are further broken down into permanent and casual employees.

Full-time and part-time shiftworkers will see a small reduction of 5% to their Sunday pay, going from 195% to 190%. In 2020, this will be reduced further to 175%. Full-time and part-time non-shiftworkers will see a more drastic cut, having their wages reduced to 15% this year – 180% to 165% – and then again next year, to 150%.

Continuing with changes to the Retail Award, casual shiftworkers will see a percentage drop exactly in line with their permanent shiftworker counterparts. Casuals will see 5% drop now, to 215%, and then another 15% drop next year, to 200%. Pay rates for casual non-shiftworkers will go reduce to 185% this year, and then drop to 175% next year.

Permanent employees in the Pharmacy Award will have a Sunday rate of 165% this year, while casual Sunday rates have been reduced to 190%. For the 2020-21 financial year, that rate will drop to 185%.

This year is the final year of cuts for the Hospitality Award and Fast Food Award.

Having seen a cut to the Sunday penalty rates for full-time and part-time employees in 2018, permanent employees in the Hospitality Award received a further cut of 10% this year. This brings down their penalty rates to 150% of the minimum wage on Sundays.

Casuals under the same Award will see no change, maintaining a penalty rate of 175%.

Permanent Level 1 employees under the Fast Food worker award will also see a 10% reduction in their Sunday penalty rates, going down to 125% from 135%. Casual Level 1 employees in the same industry will go down from 160% to 150%.

The Sunday penalty rate cuts aren’t the only changes to the penalty rates of these awards; some will see increases to their weekday evening or Saturday penalty rates later in the 2019-20 financial year.

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