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Penalty Rate Cuts Offer Big Break To CE And Appliance Retailers

The Fair Work Commission has announced penalty rates for casual, part-time and full-time retail employees will be reduced.

‘Double time’ pay will no longer apply to any retail employees on Sundays. Full-time and part-time and employees will have their penalty rates reduced from 200% to 150% of their regular hourly rate, while casual employees will be cut less, from 200% to 175%.

Public holiday penalty rates will also be reduced, with the commission ruling that “existing public holiday penalty rates for full-time and part-time employees in the Hospitality and Retail Awards are neither fair nor relevant.”

For full-time and part-time retail employees, public holiday penalty rates will drop from 250% to 225%. Casual retail employees, who currently receive either 275% or 250% on public holidays, are set to receive a standard 250% under the proposed changes.

Changes to penalty rates are set to be implemented from July this year, but the FWC has determined “appropriate transitional arrangements” are required for Sunday penalty rate reductions to “mitigate the hardship caused to employees.” Parties are invited to make submissions on the provisional views of the commission.

The FWC must conduct a review every four years under the requirements of the Fair Work Act to determine whether modern awards are achieving the objective of providing “a fair and relevant minimum safety net of terms and conditions” along with the National Employment Standards.

As part of its decision, the FWC does not seek to make any changes to existing Saturday penalty rates.

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