The Fair Work Commission today issued further Directions in relation to the conduct of the Penalty Rates case. This document outlines the proceedings and process going forward.

Members will be aware that the Australian Retailers Association and the Master Grocers Association has been leading the case to reduce the Sunday penalty rates under the General Retail Industry Award 2010, from an additional 100% to an additional 50%.

The Full Bench of the Commission, which is deciding the case, today issued Directions concentrating primarily on the fast food industry, however also dealing with administrative matters relevant to the retail industry.

It is clear from today’s developments that the Decision in this case, which the ARA had expected to see handed down in a matter of weeks, will be delayed. We now expect the Decision to be handed down in mid to late December, with a small chance that it will be delayed until early 2017.

Members may have seen recent media reports indicating there is a growing likelihood that Sunday penalties in the retail industry will be reduced. The ARA believes we have presented a compelling argument for change, and we are confident that the outcome will be a positive one for retailers as we near the conclusion of the Fair Work Commission case.

We have led the charge for change with the support of our members and our industry partners – the Master Grocers Association and Franchise Council of Australia.

Following the considerable financial commitments that have been made, we are hopeful on behalf of the sector that the efforts of the ARA and contributing parties will pay off for the industry as a whole.