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Workers in retail, fast-food, hospitality and more stand to lose thousands of dollars in the new penalty rate cuts

Workers in retail, fast-food, hospitality, pharmacy and others stand to lose thousands of dollars a year after a landmark decision, from a full bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC), to cut penalty rates on Sundays and public holidays.

In hospitality, full-time and part-time Sunday rates will go from 175% to 150% – casual workers’ rates won’t be affected. Meanwhile rates for retail workers (including casuals) will go from 200% to 150%. These cuts will be introduced over two years, beginning 1 July 2017.

In making its decision, the FWC said “[For] many workers, Sunday work has a higher level of disutility than Saturday work, though the extent of the disutility is much less than in times past”.

Public holiday rates will also be cut from 1 July 2017.

Griffith University Professor of Employment Relations, David Peetz, warned the AIRAANZ annual conference in February 2017 of the wide-ranging impact of the cuts. “Only about a third of the usual Sunday workers are dependant students, leaving a vast number of retail and hospitality workers who rely on these rates.”

Our advice to anyone who’s affected is to keep an eagle eye on your pay packet leading up to July 1st. Employers who begin the new rates early face serious economic sanctions. 

If you or anyone else you know is being unfairly paid due to this decision, your expert Marshalls + Dent team is just a call away.
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