Penalty rates: the changes summarised

On 23 February 2017, a decision was made by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to vary Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates in some retail and hospitality modern awards. Below outlines the main changes and when they will take effect.

What are the changes?

The revised penalty rates for Sundays:

The revised penalty rates for Public Holidays:

Although also reviewed, no changes were made to the Clubs Award public holiday rates.

When will the changes take effect?

In an effort to mitigate the hardship for employees who currently work Sundays, the FWC has advised that changes relating to Sunday penalties will not be implemented immediately. Rather the FWC reports that a transitional approach will be undertaken whereby a series of annual adjustments on 1 July each year, commencing 1 July 2017, will occur to coincide with any increases in modern award minimum wages. Public holiday penalty rate changes will take effect on 1 July 2017.


If you would like to read the full summary of the FWC decision go to:


If you need assistance with using and interpreting modern awards, call Industryus HR on 07 5655 4047 or click here to view our HR services. If you need the peace of mind of having access to regular HR advice on matters such as penalty rates, perhaps our advice membership is worth considering.

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