Fair Work Commission Wage Changes Announced
The Fair Work Commission recently announced the phasing in program for Sunday and penalty rates variations along with a 3.3% increase to the minimum wage, both of which will affect many businesses.
Minimum Wage Rise
The Fair Work Commission announced that minimum wages will increase by 3.3% as of 1 July 2017.
In the wake of this increase, all employers should review current pay rates for their Award based employees and hourly rates of pay should be reviewed and increased where appropriate. It is also a good time for employers to review the wage rates of employees on salary to ensure that any salary payable is at least meeting minimum pay rates.
The FWC will be commencing the process of updating relevant awards over the coming month – information on pay rates can be found at www.fairwork.gov.au
Sunday and Penalty rates
The FWC also announced the phasing in of new public holiday and Sunday penalty pay rates as of 1 July 2017.
Public Holiday Penalty rates
In February this year, amongst a lot of controversy, the Fair Work Commission decided to reduce the public holiday penalty rates in the Hospitality, Restaurant, Fast Food, Retail and Pharmacy Awards as shown in Table 1 below (the old rates being struck through):
|Proposed public holiday penalty rates in the Hospitality and Retail Awards Award title||Public holiday penalty rates (%)
|Full-time & part-time||Casual|
|Hospitality Award (cl. 32)|
|Restaurant Award (cl. 34)||250|
|Retail Award (cl. 29)|
|Fast Food Award (cl. 30)|
|Pharmacy Award (cl. 31)|
Sunday penalty rates
New pay rates for Sunday work in the Hospitality, Restaurant, Fast Food, Retail and Pharmacy Awards will be phased in over a 3-year period commencing on 1 July 2017, concluding the reduction down to the new rate by 1 July 2019.
For example, in the Hospitality award, new Sunday rates will be phased in as follows:
Full-time and part-time employees
1 July 2017 175 per cent > 170 per cent
1 July 2018 170 per cent > 160 per cent
1 July 2019 160 per cent > 150 per cent
The Restaurant, Fast Food, Retail and Pharmacy Awards have different phasing in rates which can be found at www.fairwork.gov.au