Cuts in penalty rates

Source: NSW Business Chamber

Penalty rates termed ‘excessive’ by the Fair Work Commission have been cut by 25 per cent, following a two year industrial push involving more than 35,000 Australian restaurant, cafe and catering businesses.

In a huge win for business, casual loadings on Sundays will be cut from 175 per cent to 150 per cent for Introductory Grades 1 and 2, from July 1.

This will equalise the Sunday penalty with the Saturday penalty for these categories of employees, making it more affordable to employ staff once again.

Formal evidence and interviews in the case supported the word on the street: a large portion of the industry workforce are either young people pursuing full-time studies, or parents with weekday carers’ responsibilities. It is on weekends that they are often available to work.

The initial hearing of the case, which will see the industry save around $112 million per year, was entirely funded by the NSW Business Chamber.

Last week’s decision has been the first time during the Fair Work Commission’s Two Yearly Review of Modern Awards that substantive award changes have been made. It is likely to be a benchmark for future decisions on the issue.

This win could not have been achieved without the support of members like you. It’s a decision that demonstrates the power of members uniting under the Chamber to advocate for changes in legislation that impact our businesses and community.

NSW Business Chamber is now studying the decision closely in preparation for making member voices heard during the Fair Work Commission’s Four yearly review of modern awards.


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