Penalty rates changes 2017

On 23 February 2017, the Fair Work Commission external-icon.png (FWC) handed down a decision to vary certain penalty rate provisions in some awards for the hospitality, restaurant and retail industries.

The decision affects penalty rate provisions for some permanent and casual employees working on Sundays, public holidays, evenings or after midnight in these industries

Changes to Sunday penalty rates will be phased in

On 5 June 2017, the FWC handed down a decision about how the changes to Sunday penalty rates will be introduced. The FWC decided they will be phased in over 3 or 4 years, depending on the award and employment type, starting from 1 July 2017. See When do the changes start for more information. 

Our Pay Calculator and Pay Guides will be updated before the new penalty rates start. Sign up for updates to be notified when the new rates are available. 

Find out:

Who do the changes affect?

The following awards are affected by the penalty rate changes:

  • General Retail Industry Award 2010 [MA000004] (the Retail Award)
  • Fast Food Industry Award 2010 [MA000003] (the Fast Food Award)
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2010 [MA000119] (the Restaurant Award)
  • Pharmacy Industry Award 2010 [MA000012] (the Pharmacy Award)
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 [MA000009] (the Hospitality Award).

If you think you might be covered by one of these awards but aren’t sure, you can use Find my award to find out which applies to you.

The FWC is still reviewing the Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2010 (the Clubs Award) but haven't made any changes at this stage.

When do the changes start?

The changes to public holiday penalty rates start from 1 July 2017. These changes will apply in full.

The changes to the evening work and after midnight penalties (in the Restaurant and Fast Food Awards) also start from 1 July 2017.

The changes to Sunday penalty rates are being introduced over 3 or 4 years starting from 1 July 2017. The FWC handed down a decision about how this should happen on 5 June 2017 and will settle the final form of these changes soon.

The changes will be phased in over 3 years or 4 years, depending on the award and the employment type.

  • in the Fast Food Award, the changes will be phased in over 3 years for all employees
  • in the Retail Award, the changes will be phased in over 4 years for full-time and part-time employees and over 3 years for casual employees
  • in the Hospitality Award, the changes will be phased in over 3 years for full-time and part-time employees (there are no Sunday changes for casual employees)
  • in the Pharmacy Award, the changes will be phased in over 4 years for all employees.

There are no changes to Sunday rates in the Restaurant Award.

For more information about how the rates will be phased in and the percentages that will apply over the periods, read the Fair Work Commission Penalty Rates - Transitional Arrangements Decision Summary external-icon.png.

What are the changes?

Retail Award

Sunday penalty rates will change from:

  • 200% to 150% for full-time and part-time employees
  • 200% to 175% for casuals.

Public holiday penalty rates will change from:

  • 250% to 225% for full-time and part-time employees
  • 275% to 250% for casuals.

Fast Food Award

Sunday penalty rates will change for Level 1 employees from:

  • 150% to 125% for full-time and part-time employees
  • 175% to 150% for casuals.

Public holiday penalty rates will change from:

  • 250% to 225% for full-time and part-time employees
  • 275% to 250% for casuals.

The 10% evening work penalty will apply from 10.00pm (instead of 9.00pm) until midnight. The 15% after midnight penalty will apply to hours worked between midnight and 6.00am.

Restaurant Award

The public holiday penalty rates for full-time and part-time employees will change from 250% to 225%. The casual public holiday penalty will remain as 250%.

The 15% after midnight penalty will apply to hours worked between midnight and 6.00am (instead of 7.00am).

Pharmacy Award

For work between 7.00am and 9.00pm, Sunday penalty rates will change from:

  • 200% to 150% for full-time and part-time employees
  • 225% to 175% for casuals.

Public holiday penalty rates will change from:

  • 250% to 225% for full-time and part-time employees
  • 275% to 250% for casuals.

Hospitality Award

Sunday penalty rates will change from 175% to 150% for full-time and part-time employees. The casual Sunday penalty will remain as 175%.

Public holiday penalty rates will change from:

  • 250% to 225% for full-time and part-time employees
  • 275% to 250% for casuals.

We'll update this website with any further changes.

When will our tools be updated?

Our Pay Calculator and Pay Guides will be updated before the new penalty rates start. We'll update this website when the tools are updated. 

Sign up for updates to be notified when the new rates are available and register for My account for personalised workplace law information.

More information

You can read the summary of the phasing decision external-icon.pngsummary of the initial decision external-icon.png,  and more about the penalty rates case external-icon.png on the Fair Work Commission's website.

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