Fair Work Commission hands down Annual Wage Review Decision and Penalty Rates Transitional Arrangements Decision

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has recently handed down 2 significant decisions, namely the Annual Wage Review decision and the rollout of the decision to reduce Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates in select awards. These decisions will have implications for employers from 1 July 2017. 

Annual Wage Review

In yesterday's shock decision, the FWC has ordered that minimum award rates be increased by 3.3% from 1 July 2017.  

The context of this decision was that the Australian Council of Trade Unions was calling for a 6.7% increase while employer groups such as the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Industry Group proposed modest increases of 1.2% and 1.5% respectively.

Penalty Rates Decision – Transitional Arrangements

Earlier this week, the FWC handed down a decision regarding the transition timetable for the penalty rate cuts to the following modern awards: 

  • General Retail Industry Award 2010;
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010;
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2010;
  • Fast Food Industry Award 2010; and
  • Pharmacy Industry Award 2010.

Public Holiday Penalty Rates

In relation to the Public Holiday penalty rates, the FWC confirmed its decision that the reduced Public Holiday penalty rate provisions in the Retail, Hospitality, Restaurant, Fast Food and Pharmacy Awards will take effect on 1 July 2017, without any transitional arrangements. 

A summary of the current and amended Public Holiday rates is below:

Award

Current Public Holiday Rates

New Public Holiday Rates to take effect from 1 July 2017

General Retail Industry Award 2010

250% (FT/PT)

275% (Casual*)

225% (FT/PT)

250% (Casual*)

Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010

250% (FT/PT)

275% (Casual*)

225% (FT/PT)

250% (Casual*)

Restaurant Industry Award 2010

250% (FT/PT)

250% (Casual*)

225% (FT/PT)

250% (Casual*)

Fast Food Industry Award 2010

250% (FT/PT)

275% (Casual*)

225% (FT/PT)

250% (Casual*)

Pharmacy Industry Award 2010

250% (FT/PT)

275% (Casual*)

225% (FT/PT)

250% (Casual*)

*inclusive of any casual loading

Sunday Penalty Rates

In relation to the Sunday penalty rates, the FWC decided that reductions to Sunday penalties in the Retail, Fast Food, Hospitality and Pharmacy Awards will be phased in from 1 July each year over the next 3-4 years.

A summary of the transitional arrangements for each of these awards is set out below:

Award

Date

Full-time and part-time employees

Casual employees (inclusive of casual loading)

Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010

1 July 2017

175% to 170%

No change

1 July 2018

170% to 160%

No change

1 July 2019

160% to 150%

No change

Fast Food Industry Award 2010

1 July 2017

150% to 145%*

175% to 170%*

1 July 2018

145% to 135%*

170% to 160%*

1 July 2019

135% to 125%*

160% to 150%*

General Retail Industry Award 2010

1 July 2017

200% to 195%

200% to 195%

1 July 2018

195% to 180%

195% to 185%

1 July 2019

180% to 165%

185% to 175%

1 July 2020

165% to 150%

No change

Pharmacy Industry Award 2010

1 July 2017

200% to 195%

225% to 220%

1 July 2018

195% to 180%

220% to 205%

1 July 2019

180% to 165%

205% to 190%

1 July 2020

165% to 150%

190% to 175%

*Level 1 employees only

If you have any questions or would like further information regarding the above decisions, please contact: 

Louise Houlihan
Principal
T: 03 9611 0144
M: 0409 835 809
E: lhoulihan@sladen.com.au