The second stage of the penalty rate reduction introduced by the Fair Work Commission will take place this weekend.

Last year’s decision by the FWC means that from 1 July Sunday penalty rates will reduce to 180 per cent for permanent staff and 185 per cent for casual employees. Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association described the decision as “an incredible outcome for Australian retailers”, providing long-term benefits for employers and employees in the retail industry.

This progressive decision made by the Fair Work Commission will present numerous opportunities and bring further relief for retailers, their staff and consumers,” Zimmerman said.

He added that this small reduction will deliver long-term employment outcomes for the retail industry and allow retailers to open their doors for longer.

“On average, the retail industry is increasing 2.76 per cent year-on-year, therefore, our primary concern is for our members, especially small businesses struggling to open their stores seven days a week,” Zimmerman said.

“With April’s retail figures representing a dismal 2.62 per cent year-on-year sales growth – less than the average retail turnover for the last 12 months – these lower wage costs will help small retailers meet their overheads, and open their doors to consumers, stimulating the economy.”

Zimmerman also said it was important for retailers to be clear on the changes coming in from this weekend, as there appears to be a lot of misinformation circling around.

“Sunday penalty rates have not been abolished, nor will they be. We have simply reduced the rate from 200 per cent to 150 per cent as these high penalty rates were deterring employers from giving their staff Sunday shifts, and forcing some retailers to close their doors,” he said.

“This next phase in the penalty rates reduction is a small step for the industry but a giant leap for retailers who are currently unable to open their stores on Sundays.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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