Businesses welcome FWC decision to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalty rates

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry as welcomed the decision from the full bench of the Fair Work Commission to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalty rates in hospitality, retail and pharmacy sectors, in its four yearly review of modern awards.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Executive Director of Policy and Advocacy Bryce Prosser said the decision reflected employers’ long-standing position about the role of Sunday in our modern society and the need to increase employment opportunities on Sunday and Public Holidays.

“Sunday penalty rates have generally been reduced from 200 per cent to 175 per cent or 150 per cent, which many of our members in key services sectors, particularly retail and hospitality have been calling for,” he said.

“The decision acknowledged the submissions from many business owners and operators who have reduced their trading hours and altered trading practices due to the cost of penalty rates. Today’s decision will allow Victorian businesses to be more confident when rostering and taking on staff.

“Small retail and hospitality businesses in regional Victoria will benefit significantly from this decision, as they face unique challenges due to their location and have been calling for this change for some time.

“When businesses have decided to close on Sundays because they couldn’t afford the penalty rates, casual workers didn’t just miss out on a penalty loading but an entire wage for that day.

“Adjusting the penalty rates on Sundays will now allow businesses to stay open for longer on Sundays and public holidays and be fully staffed.”

The Victorian Chamber hopes this decision will result in increased employment opportunities on Sunday and Public Holidays.

“At the end of the day, businesses and their employees want the same thing, to have a thriving workplace that can operate with certainty and reward workers,” Mr Prosser said.

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