The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission issued its decision in the Penalty Rates case last Thursday 23 February 2017. The ARA sought a reduction in the Sunday Penalty Rate under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 (GRIA) from its current level of an additional 100% to 50%. The Full Bench found that the ARA, represented by FCB, had made the case for change as reflected in the positive result for retailers.
Sunday Penalty Rates for permanent employees will be reduced to 50%, and for casuals to 75%.
This is an incredible outcome for the Australian Retail Industry and we would like to thank those who contributed significant financial resources to ensure we put up the best case ever presented by the retail industry, and those who dedicated their time and resources to helping guide the strategy.
The ARA successfully pulled the whole industry together to put forward a united case and would like to thank the Franchise Council of Australia, along with MGA Independent Retailers, for their support. We would also like to thank those who made themselves and their businesses available in the preparation of the evidence.
The permanent employee Public Holiday Penalty Rate will reduce to an additional 125% (from 150%) and casuals to an additional 150% (from 175%).
The other great outcome was the reduction in the Public Holiday Penalty Rate. We prepared sufficient evidence demonstrating the current penalties were too high, and the Commission accepted this, looking to implement these changes will take effect from 1 July 2017.
In making this decision, the FWC made changes penalty rate structure in the various awards are as follows:
a) Retail Award: o Permanent employees Sunday Penalties will be reduced from 200% to 150%; and o Casual employees Sunday Penalties will be reduced from 200% to 175%. b) Hospitality Award: o Permanent employees Sunday Penalties will be reduced from 175% to 150%; and o No changes for casuals.
c) Fast Food Award: o Level 1 permanent employees Sunday Penalties will be reduced from 150% to 125%; and o Level 1 casual employees Sunday Penalties will be reduced from 175% to 150%.
d) Pharmacy Award: o Permanent employees (7am – 9pm only) Sunday Penalties will be reduced from 200% to 150%; and o Casual employees (7am – 9pm only) Sunday Penalties will be reduced from 200% to 175%.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
There will be a transition between the former and new Penalty Rates, the ARA will be working with retailers to address the transitional provision on behalf of members.
This will not be the last we hear on the matter. The union movement have stated that they will pursue an appeal which the ARA will be opposing, as we hope to achieve the July 1 implementation of a number of significant changes.
The ARA will be contacting members and industry participants in the coming days regarding funding for further support around the appeal process and implementation.