Penalty rates

Penalty rates are higher pay rates that can apply when an employee works particular hours or days such as evenings, weekends or public holidays. Find out how to calculate them.

What are penalty rates?

Penalty rates are higher pay rates that employees need to be paid for working particular hours or days.

Employees may be entitled to a penalty rate when working:

  • weekends
  • public holidays
  • overtime
  • late nights shifts or
  • early morning shifts.

Calculating penalty rates

The penalty rates that you or your employees are entitled to will depend on the award that applies. Use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate penalty rates in your industry.

You can also check out our downloadable pay guides for common penalties in your industry.

If you're covered by an enterprise agreement or other registered agreement, your penalty rates will be in your agreement. To find an enterprise agreement, go to the Fair Work Commission website external-icon.png.

Workplace arrangements affecting penalty rates

Some workplace arrangements can affect the payment of penalty rates. These include:

The overall amount an employee is paid under one of these arrangements has to be at least the same as the amount they would be paid under their award or agreement.

The wages in salary payments, employment contracts, IFAs and guarantees of annual earnings need to compensate for other penalties and loadings in an applicable award.

Tools and resources

Related information

Have a workplace problem?

Problems can happen in any workplace. If you have a workplace problem, we have tools and information to help you resolve it.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

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