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UPDATE: Penalty payment cuts by the Fair Work Commission will take effect from 1 July

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Fair Work - Penalty payment cuts take effect from 1 July 2017


There will be changes in penalty rates which will take effect from 1 July 2017. The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has reviewed penalty rates in a number of hospitality and retail awards, as part of a 4 year re-evaluation of modern award system.The Fair Work Commission has now agreed to stop Sunday penalty rates, primarily affecting retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy workers.

Many retail and business groups have been behind the push to bring Sunday penalty rates in line with Saturday penalty rates. The reform was made through a number of recommendations from workplaces by the Productivity Commission last year. These considerations commenced in early 2015 and over 450 submission and witness statements have been received to date.

Despite these changes, FWC president Lain has reaffirmed that there will be a transitional period to mitigate hardship to those affected by the changes. Along with the Sunday penalty rates, the Fair Work Commission has also agreed to reduce Public Holiday penalty payment rates, as well as a late penalty rate for some award schemes.

Will I be affected?

Employees who are working under the following awards

Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 – MA000009 Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2010 – MA000058 Restaurant Industry Award 2010 – MA000119 Fast Food Industry Award 2010 – MA000003 General Retail Industry Award 2010 – MA000004 Pharmacy Industry Award 2010 – MA000012 Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010 -MA000005

How much will these rates change for you?

Award Type - Sunday Penalty Rate

Award Type - Public Holiday Penalty Rate

Award Type - Late Night Penalty Rate

What should you do next?

Arrangements have not been met yet, however, Fair Work Commission is working on the following dates:

  • Sunday night penalty rates will take place in a series of annual adjustments from 1 July 2017 to coincide with any increase to modern award minimum wages arising from Annual Wage Review decisions;

  • Changes to public holiday penalty rates and variation of early/ late night work loading in Restaurant and Fast Food Awards will also take effect on 1 July 2017;

  • Further review of the Clubs Award, the Restaurant's Award and other retail modern awards will also take place in the next few months;

  • There has been discussion about changing penalty rates with the option to instead introduce a flat floated hourly rate.

We will keep you updated on these changes via our website.


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