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Penalty rates slashed from 1 July: Double check your pay slip this weekend

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Leading employment lawyers are reminding hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers to ensure they are not short changed this weekend, when penalty rates are slashed.

Sunday and public holiday penalty rates will be reduced from 1 July 2017, following a Fair Work Commission ruling in February this year.

Slater and Gordon Principal Employment Lawyer Aron Neilson said workers need to remember the Sunday cuts will not be fully implemented for a number of years.

“The full effect of Sunday penalty rate cuts will not be felt until 2019 for the hospitality and fast food industries and 2020 for retail and pharmacy workers,” Mr Neilson said.

“The first annual cut this weekend is 5 per cent across all four of those industries, so workers should be going over their pay slips carefully to ensure their wages are not docked unfairly.

“From there, hospitality and fast food workers will endure a 10 per cent Sunday rate reduction every year, while rates for retail and pharmacy workers will drop 15 per cent annually.

“These cuts are a huge step backwards for Australian workers who have fought for fair pay and working conditions for generations, but employees need to remember they still have rights.

“Whether you’re permanent or casual, it is illegal for you to be fired or have your shifts cut for raising a concern about your pay slip or entitlements.

“Check your new penalty rates against the calculation on your pay slip: if they don’t match, raise it with your boss, your union, the Fair Work Ombudsman, or seek legal advice.”

Implementation of Sunday Penalty Rate Cuts

    Before 1 July 2017 1 July 2016 1 July 2018 1 July 2019 1 July 2020


Permanent 200% 195% 180% 165% 150%
Casual 200% 195% 185% 175%  



Permanent 200% 195% 180% 165% 150%
Casual 225% 220% 205% 190% 175%
Hospitality Permanent 175% 170% 160% 150%  
Casual 175% No Change
Fast Food Permanent 150% 135% 135% 125%  
Casual 175% 160% 160% 150%