After an extensive four-yearly review, the Fair Work Commission has recommended Sunday penalty rates be reduced.

Awards set to experience a reduction under the decision include:

full-time and part-time employee penalties - from 200% to 150%,

casual employees from 200% to 175%, and public holiday penalties from 250% to 225%.

Supporting the news, the NSW Business Chamber says the decision of the Commission’s full bench is the first step in addressing a major issue in workplace relations.

“On the whole what we wanted to see in key services sectors was achieved; especially in retail and hospitality,” NSW Business Chamber CEO, Stephen Cartwright says.

“The Commission accepted large parts of the employer argument about the role of Sunday in our modern society and the need to increase employment opportunities on Sunday and Public Holidays. So the Umpire has clearly spoken.

“Australia has an ongoing problem with youth unemployment and an over-regulated small business sector and I hope this decision allows business owners to have some certainty in their business planning, operations and hiring of staff,” he added. 

The Chamber’s advocate, and CEO of Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors, Nigel Ward, who ran the case on behalf of the business community, said he hoped the decision meant businesses can get on with their operations. 

“At the end of the day we all want the same thing – businesses to be thriving with workers rewarded and young people being given their first crack at earning a wage,” Mr Ward says.

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