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What Do The Penalty Rate Cuts Mean for You?

Jacaranda Team

Jacaranda Team

May 24, 20172 minute read
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Penalty rate cuts? The Fairwork Commission has decided to cut penalty rates on Sunday’s and Public holiday’s for full-time and part-time employees in:

On this page:

    • Hospitality
    • Restaurants
    • Fast Food
    • Retail
    • Pharmacy

    What is actually changing?

    Full-time and part-time hospitality workers will have their Sunday rates slashed from 175% to 150%. Retail full-time and part-time workers will have their Sunday rates reduced from 200% to 150%. However, penalty rates for casual workers will remain the same.

    Which poses the question if Employers are paying less for their staff on Sunday’s and Public Holiday’s, will the Surcharges charged to customers on these day’s be waived? It seems unlikely!

    How will it affect me?

    How the new rate cuts will affect you will depend on whether you are full-time, part-time or casual.

    Good news if you are casual! These changes do not affect you; casual Sunday rates will remain the same at 175%.

     If you are a full-time or part-time employee, though, your rate will be slashed from 200% or 175% on a Sunday to 150%.

     The argument for doing this is that the reduction in penalty rates would lead to longer trading hours, increased services and an increase in overall hours worked because it wouldn’t cost employer’s as much to be open and trading on a Sunday.

    Many have commented that the decision to cut penalty rates was about protecting employers and not employee’s, who seem to have gotten the raw end of the stick in this situation.

    When do the new penalty rates come into effect?

    The new penalty rate changes will come into effect on the 1st of July 2017.

    Changes to the start and finish times for early or late shift workers in the restaurant and fast food industry’s will begin in March 2017.

    What if I question my employer about my rates, can he cut my hours or stop rostering me on?

    Absolutely not! It is a breach of the Fair Work Act for an employer to sack you or stop rostering you on because you raised concerns about your wages.

     The Fair Work Commission has made it very clear that it sets the rates independently of the government and the BCA (Business Council Australia) has supported the decision.

    “It is essential that penalty rates continue to be set independently by the commission, free of political interference.”

     Unfortunately, this seems to have left many workers feeling disenchanted and angry. As those in privileged positions whom wouldn’t have a qualm about missing out on $80 a week are making decisions based on their own circumstances and the well being of the business and not that of the people working in them.


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    Jacaranda Team
    Jacaranda Team

    Written by Jacaranda Team

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