Changes to late night penalty rates for Fast Food and Restaurant industries

In late February 2017, the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission handed down its long awaited and highly anticipated Decision in the Penalty Rates case.

Amongst other matters, the Full Bench decided to vary Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates for the Retail, Hospitality, and Pharmacy Fast Food and Restaurant industries. Unsurprisingly, this attracted significant media interest and divided public opinion. Employer Groups celebrated it as a historic win, while Unions immediately got to work creating political pressure for legislative intervention.

Varying the span of hours

Since handing down its Decision, the Fair Work Commission has been busy resolving a number of outstanding matters. One of those matters is when variations to the span of hours which attracts the 15% evening work penalty under the Restaurant and Fast Food Awards will commence. Both the Restaurant and Fast Food Awards currently provide that the late night penalty payment applies for work performed between midnight and 7am. The Decision varied the span of hours which attracts this penalty so that it now applies to work performed between midnight and 6am (not 7am).

The Full Bench also varied the Fast Food Award to provide that the 10% evening work penalty that currently applies for work performed between 9pm and midnight is now payable for all work performed between 10pm and midnight (as is currently the case in the Restaurant Award).

These changes will come into effect from 1 July 2017. This date is in line with the variations to Public Holiday penalty rates which are due to commence on 1 July 2017. However, the Full Bench is yet to determine how and when the reduced Sunday penalty rates will come into effect.

A summary of the variations and proposed commencement dates is provided below. However, please note that the SDA, or another Union body, will likely appeal the Decision which could result in further delay to these changes being implemented.

General Retail Industry Award 2010
Category Current New Operative Date
Sunday(Permanent Staff) 200% 150% TBD – transition
Sunday(Casual Staff) 200% 175% TBD – transition
Public Holiday(Permanent Staff) 250% 225% 1 July 2017
Public Holiday(Casual Staff) 275% 250% 1 July 2017
Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010
Category Current New Operative Date
Sunday(Permanent Staff) 175% 150% TBD – transition
Public Holiday(Permanent Staff) 250% 225% 1 July 2017
Public Holiday(Casual Staff) 275% 250% 1 July 2017
Pharmacy Industry Award 2010
Category Current New Operative Date
Sunday(Permanent Staff: 7am to 9pm) 200% 150% TBD – transition
Sunday(Casual Staff: 7am to 9pm) 200% 175% TBD – transition
Public Holiday(Permanent Staff) 250% 225% 1 July 2017
Public Holiday(Casual Staff) 275% 250% 1 July 2017
 
Fast Food Industry Award 2010
Category Current New Operative Date
Sunday(Permanent Staff – Level 1) 150% 125% TBD – transition
Sunday(Casual Staff – Level 1) 175% 150% TBD – transition
Public Holiday(Permanent Staff) 250% 225% 1 July 2017
Public Holiday(Casual Staff) 275% 250% 1 July 2017
Evening Work Penalty (+15%)Permanent and Casual Staff Monday to Friday(Midnight to 7am) Monday to Friday(Midnight to 6am) 1 July 2017
Restaurant  Industry Award 2010
Category Current New Operative Date
Public Holiday(Permanent Staff) 250% 225% 1 July 2017
Evening Work Penalty (+15%)Permanent and Casual Staff Monday to Friday(Midnight to 7am) Monday to Friday(Midnight to 6am) 1 July 2017


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