Employment law Media Release Policy Tax/Economy UPDATE


23 FEBRUARY, 2017: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed today’s decision by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to reduce Sunday Penalty Rates under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 (GRIA) from double time (200%) to time and a half (150%).

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said today’s decision is an incredible outcome for Australian retailers as it will sustain growth in the retail industry and increase employment rates across the board.

“This reduction in Sunday Penalty Rates will provide more employment opportunities for young workers seeking both additional hours and new employment over the weekend,” Mr Zimmerman.

According to today’s ruling, Sunday Penalty Rates for permanent and part-time employees will be reduced from 200% to 150%, while penalty rates for casual employees will be reduced from 200% to 175%.

“Our combined research with Monash University seeking a reduction in penalty rates clearly presented a persuasive argument for the Full Bench, as this is one of the most progressive decisions the Australian retail industry has seen in a number of years.”

Mr Zimmerman said another great outcome from today’s ruling was the reduction in the Public Holiday Penalty Rate.

The Full Bench reduced Public Holiday Penalty Rates for permanent and part-time employees from 250% to 225%, while Public Holiday Penalty Rates for casual employees will be reduced from 275% to 250%.

“We prepared sufficient evidence demonstrating the current penalties were too high, and the Commission accepted this, looking to implement these changes from 1 July 2017,” he said.

“The Full Bench has also outlined a process for the implementation of these reductions and has called for submissions in relation to various aspects of this,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The ARA will be working with retailers to address the transitional framework and what this means for current and future employees.

“This is definitely not the last we will hear on this matter as the Unions have already stated that they will pursue an appeal,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The ARA will be opposing any Union appeal, as we are hoping to achieve the July 1 implementation of a number of significant changes,” he said.

The ARA is in the process of reviewing the full text of the decision and will provide a more detailed summary in due course.

MGA Independent Retailers and Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) along with various national retailers have been supporting the ARA in leading this industry changing case over the last two years.

To view the full summary of the Penalty Rates Decision click here.


For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556 E:

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $300 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.




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