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Global Tips

Australia Fair Work Commission Amends Sunday Award Rates

By Kira Rubiano

In Australia, awards (modern awards) are legal documents that outline the minimum pay rates and conditions of employment. Currently, 122 industry or occupation awards cover most of the workforce in Australia. Awards apply to businesses and employees depending on the industry they work in and the type of job being performed.

As it exists today, most employers in the hospitality and retail industry may have to pay double (if not more) time for employees working on weekends and holidays. Celergo would like to advise you that recently, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down a long-awaited decision, announcing that Sunday rates and public holiday rates would be reduced on average by 25% in the hospitality and retail industries affecting the following awards:


Hospitality Group

Retail Group

The change does not take effect right away. The starting date will depend on the award that applies and what the change is. The public holiday penalty cuts take effect on 1 July 2017. The FWC has concluded that appropriate transitional arrangements are necessary for implementing the Sunday rate changes. The FWC also has proposed that the reductions take place in a series of annual adjustments.

More information about the decision, including whom it affects and how and when it applies, will be available soon on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

If you have any questions, we recommend you reach out to Fair Work ( to get further clarification or perhaps speak to your legal HR representative in Australia to ensure everything is being paid correctly.

For more information, visit: