By Andrew McKinnon
CEO Optometry NSW/ACT
Sunday and public holiday penalty rates reduced: phase-in commences 1 July 2017
The Fair Work Commission has announced changes to the rates payable for employees under the General Retail Industry Award for Sunday and public holiday penalty rates.
Employers and employees do not need to do anything immediately as the current penalty rates remain in force until 1 July 2017.
Optometry Australia will prepare further advice when more information is available from the Fair Work Commission.
Sunday penalty rates
Sunday penalty rates for full-time and part-time employees working in retail, hospitality and pharmacy businesses will be gradually reduced to 150 per cent of the ordinary hourly rate, commencing 1 July 2017. Casual rates for work on Sunday will be reduced to 175 per cent of the ordinary hourly rate. The current rate is 200 per cent, double ordinary time earnings.
The Fair Work Commission is considering how it will phase in the reductions over the next one to two years for Sunday penalty rates.
Public Holiday penalty rates
Penalty rates for full-time and part-time employees working on public holidays in restaurants, hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy have been reduced to 225 per cent of the ordinary hourly rate. Casual employees working on public holidays in these industries must be paid 250 per cent of the ordinary hourly rate of pay.
The new penalty rates for public holidays will apply in full from 1 July 2017.
Businesses operating in retail, hospitality, fast food and retail pharmacy that apply enterprise agreements for their employees will not be affected by the decision. Enterprise agreements override modern awards while they continue in force.