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Fair Work Commission cuts Sunday and public holiday penalty rates

Fair Work Commission cuts Sunday and public holiday penalty rates
February 23, 2017

The Fair Work Commission has ruled that Sunday and public holiday penalty wage rates will be reduced for full-time and part-time workers in the hospitality, retail and fast-food industries.

The ruling, made as part of the Commission's four yearly review of modern awards, will see Sunday pay rates for full-time and part-time hospitality workers cut from 175% of their standard wage to 150%.

In retail, Sunday wages will be reduced from 200% of the standard rate to 150% for full-time and part-time staff.

Casual workers in the retail and fast-food industries will also see their pay cut but rates for casuals in hospitality will remain the same.

The Commission said the cuts, which will come into effect on 1st July 2017, would lead to increased services and trading hours on public holidays and Sundays.

However, it acknowledged the changes would cause hardship to some workers with Fair Work Commission President Iain Ross advising “many of these employees earn just enough to cover weekly living expenses.”

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) said nearly half a million people, including some of the country's lowest-paid workers, would lose up to $6,000 a year.

Justice Ross added “the immediate implementation of the variations to Sunday penalty rates would inevitably cause some hardship to the employees affected, particularly those who work on Sundays.

"We have concluded that appropriate transitional arrangements are necessary to mitigate the hardship caused to employees who work on Sundays.”

Russell Zimmerman from the Australian Retailers Association said he was "very happy" with the result and businesses would now be able to employ more weekend staff.

Zimmerman stated “there are a lot of retailers who don't open at the moment and it will give them an opportunity to open.

"Those people who believe they are going to be affected may well find, I believe they will find, they will be offered extended hours."

Click here to view an advisory note on the decision from the Australian Federation of Employers and Industries.

Image courtesy of Kenvale Hospitality Education.

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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

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