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On 23 February, the Fair Work Commission (“FWC”) Full Bench announced a reduction in penalty rates for Sundays and public holidays for a number of modern awards in the hospitality and retail sectors. The public holiday penalty reductions will be effective from 1 July 2017. The Sunday penalty reductions will be transitioned over a period to be determined by the FWC in May 2017 following submissions from interested parties.

Four Yearly Modern Reviews – Penalty Case
As part of the four yearly reviews of modern awards, the FWC today announced its decision to reduce penalty rates on Sundays and public holidays for a number of modern awards. The FWC decided that the penalty rates do not achieve the modern awards objective, as they do not provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net.

The new penalties will apply from 1 July 2017, but subject to a phased transition period to be determined.



Fast Food Industry Award 2010

Change to Sunday Penalty


(Level 1 only):

Change to Public Holiday Penalty


(all employees)

Full-time and part-time 150% → 125% 250% → 225%
Casual: 175% → 150% 275% → 250%
General Retail industry Award 2010

Full-time and part-time:


200% → 150%


250% → 225%

Casual: 200% → 175% 275% → 250%
Hospitality Industry Award 2010

Full-time and part-time:


175% → 150%


250% → 225%

Casual: no change 275% → 250%
Pharmacy Industry Award 2010  

(7:00 am – 9:00 pm only)


(all hours)

Full-time and part-time: 200% → 150% 250% → 225%
Casual: 200% → 175% 275% → 250%
Restaurant Industry Award 2010  

No change


250% → 225%

    275% → 250%

Please click here for the full decision and here for a summary of the full decision.

The decision is comprehensive and complex, should you seek specific advice please contract us.

The implications of the decision will depend on the circumstances applying to individual businesses. You should seek specific advice if you are unsure of your obligations or where there is an existing contractual obligation to pay penalty rates at a certain rate, an enterprise agreement applies or you pay an above-award rate of pay.

Require further information/assistance?
If you require further information or advice, please contact your local Consultant at either our Adelaide or Melbourne offices.

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