Penalty rates appeal: Our workplace laws are broken. We need to Change to Rules to protect your pay.

The SDA and United Voice appealed the Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates for retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy workers through a judicial review in the Federal Court.

Both unions put up a strong fight to reverse Sunday and public holiday penalty rate cuts but unfortunately, the Federal Court did not rule in our favour.

The SDA won these penalty rates in the Retail Award in 2009 and we have defended them ever since – taking it all the way to Federal Court.

The decision to cut penalty rates was harsh and unfair – it hurt retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy workers who can’t afford a pay cut.

We are bitterly disappointed in this decision but the SDA will continue to fight to protect the take-home pay of retail, fast food and pharmacy workers.

While our appeal was unsuccessful, our work continues.

There are two things we need to do to restore the take-home pay of workers covered by the Retail, Fast Food and Pharmacy Awards.

  1. Change the Government to Change the Rules: Malcolm Turnbull could have stopped cuts to penalty rates – but chose not to. They stood by and allowed the pay of 700,000 workers to be slashed. Tell the Government you won’t be voting for them here:
  2. Lift retail, fast food and pharmacy wages: the SDA will now be pushing even harder to increase the base rates of pay in the Retail, Fast Food and Pharmacy Awards in the Annual Wage Review next year. At a time of record low wage growth and growing inequality, we know workers can’t afford to have their pay cut as the cost of living continues to rise. If you want to help, join the SDA or sign up a friend. The more members we have, the stronger we are. Head here:

Most SDA members are covered by an SDA-negotiated Agreement, which means cuts to penalty rates in Awards does not directly impact their take-home pay.

However, it does mean the floor from which we negotiate new Agreements lowers – which is why it’s so important to keep up the fight to protect take-home pay for workers covered by Awards.

The Fair Work Commission decision to cut Sunday penalty rates in the Retail, Fast Food, Pharmacy and Hospitality Awards will continue to be phased in on 1 July each year until 2020.

But the SDA isn’t giving up now – until penalty rates are restored, the fight isn’t over.

If you want to find out more about penalty rates, contact the SDA.

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