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Penalty rates changes – 2017

Confused by the recent penalty rates changes? Want to know if you need to change rates and allowances in your business or if you can simply carry on with business as usual? Five industry awards are affected; everyone else rest easy…for now.

On 23 February 2017, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down their decision to vary certain penalty rate provisions in some awards for hospitality, restaurant, retail and pharmacy employees. The decision affects penalty rate provisions for some permanent and casual employees working on Sundays, public holidays, evenings or after midnight in these industries.

Changes to Sunday penalty rates, announced in the FWC decision in February, will be phased in over three or four years, starting from 1 July 2017.

The following five awards are affected by the penalty rate changes:

  • General Retail Industry Award 2010 [MA000004] – the Retail Award
  • Fast Food Industry Award 2010 [MA000003] – the Fast Food Award
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2010 [MA000119] – the Restaurant Award
  • Pharmacy Industry Award 2010 [MA00012] – the Pharmacy Award
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 [MA000009] – the Hospitality Award

Currently under review by the FWC is the Registered and Licenced Clubs Award 2010 (the Clubs Award) but at this stage, no changes to this Award have been announced.

Full information on 2017 penalty rates changes, commencement dates and tools to help navigate you through your employer obligations is available through the following link to the website of the Fair Work Ombudsman:

  • PO Box 3956,
    Burleigh Town 4220,
  • 07 5576 4693
  • 0401 279 065
  • Bare Bones Consulting

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Note: Bare Bones Consulting provides HR services for employers. Employees seeking advice on workplace concerns should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.