Sunday Penalty Rates Slashed: How Will It Affect You?

As you’ve doubtlessly heard by now, the Federal Government has agreed to slash Sunday penalty rates for hundreds of thousands of Aussie workers. If you work in hospitality, entertainment or retail you’re probably feeling a bit miffed right now. But how will the changes affect your take-home pay? Here are the answers to all your questions.

Sunday penalty rates: who is affected?

Currently, the decision will only affect hospitality, entertainment, retail, restaurants and cafe workers. According to unions, the decision will affect around 700,000 workers, including some of the lowest paid who need the penalty loading to survive.

How much are Sunday penalty rates being slashed by?

In the hospitality award, the penalty rate for full-time and part-time employees will be reduced from 175 to 150 per cent.

This means someone on the national minimum wage of $17.70 will now make around $212 for an eight hour shift instead of $248 – a difference of around $35 per shift.

Retail workers and those working at pharmacies will see their Sunday double time reduced to 150% of their hourly rate.

According to the ACTU, the new penalty rates will leave some workers worse off by a massive $6000 per year.

Here’s a breakdown of the changes:

  • Retail workers and those working at pharmacies: 150% (down from 200%)
  • Full-time hospitality workers: 150% (down from 175%)
  • Fast food industry: 125% (down from 150%)

Do the new penalty rates apply to full-time, part-time or casual workers?

All of the above. Full-time, part-time and casual workers will have their Sunday penalty rates reduced. The exception is casual employees who work in hospitality – these workers will lose their entitlement but will still be paid at 175 per cent.

Are Saturday penalty rates getting slashed too?

No. Saturday penalty rates will remain unchanged.

What are my current penalty rates

Here are the current penalty rates in Australia:

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Why are penalty rates being cut?

According to the Fair Work Commission, the cuts will lead to increased services and trading hours on public holidays and Sundays. As less charitable view is that the change is designed to increase profits for business owners at the expense of their employees.


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