What do penalty rate cuts mean for retail and fast food workers?

3.3% Pay Rise on 1 July

On 1 July 2017 workers covered by the Retail, Fast Food, Hospitality and Pharmacy Awards will receive a 3.3% pay increase following the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review.

The SDA strongly argued for wage increases for retail workers because we know how important it is for your wages to keep up with the cost of living. The SDA’s position was in stark contrast to the Australian Retailers Association which argued for only a 1.2% increase.

Remember to check your first payslip on or after 1 July to ensure you received your new rate of pay.

Stopping penalty rate cuts 

From 1 July, the Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut penalty rates will start to be phased in.

This means a 5% reduction in penalty rates for working on Sundays and a 25% reduction to penalty rates for working on public holidays.

The SDA continues to do everything we can to stop these cuts from coming into effect including:

  • Filing an appeal in Federal Court to reverse the cuts
  • Asking your employer not to pass on penalty rate cuts
  • Lobbying key Members of Parliament to support legislation to stop penalty rate cuts
  • Campaigning in the community for nation-wide support to protect penalty rates, we’ve signed up 55,000 workers so far

We understand that the pay rise you receive on 1 July will not be enough to make up for unfair penalty rate cuts that are proposed over the next 3 years.

We have called on businesses not to pass on penalty rate cuts.

At every turn, the SDA has sought to protect the take-home pay of Retail, Fast-Food and Pharmacy workers and will continue to.

You can help us maintain the pressure on employers, Members of Parliament and the community by signing up to the campaign.

Tell Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull directly why you don’t deserve a pay cut at www.protectpenaltyrates.com.au.

We will continue to update members about our appeal to stop penalty rate cuts as it progresses.

If you have any questions about your pay or any other workplace matter, please contact the SDA.


Not covered by an Award? These changes only apply to workers covered by modern awards. If you are covered by a union-negotiated agreement there will be no changes to your take-home pay. However, it will make negotiating around wages more difficult in the future. 


Join the SDA today to support our appeal to reverse penalty rate cuts. 

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