The Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) long awaited decision on weekend penalty rates is unlikely to be handed down for months, after the Full Bench issued further directions in relation to adducing additional evidence in the matter. It had been widely anticipated that the decision would be handed down in September, now parties will have to wait some time before the decision is made.
This decision forms part of the FWC’s review of modern awards. This particular issue regarding penalty rates arose out of the Productivity Commission’s (PC) draft report on Australia’s workplace relations framework released in August 2015. As part of this report, the PC recommended that Sunday rates in certain industries be cut to match Saturday rates to reflect societal changes and the positive employment impact associated with a reduction in weekend penalty rates, including the capacity to roster more employees on Sundays for longer periods. As part of the FWC’s review of modern awards, the FWC invited submissions from stakeholders in the hospitality, fast food, entertainment and retail industries to consider changes to weekend penalty rates.
Should the FWC reduce weekend penalty rates in the relevant awards in these industries, it will mean that businesses in these industries may need to review their rostering and work practices.
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