Many in the community anxiously await the decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) on weekend penalty rates.  The Full Bench of the FWC recently issued further directions for further evidence to be adduced in order to assist it in coming to a decision.  That will mean a final decision will not be made for a number of months. 

We have previously referred to the Productivity Commission’s (PC) draft report on Australia’s workplace relations framework which was released in August 2015 (see here).  The PC had previously recommended that Sunday rates in certain industries be reduced to align with Saturday rates.  

The PC suggested that such a reduction would result in a positive employment impact and would enable employers to roster employees on Sundays for longer periods.  The FWC has invited submissions from industry stakeholders in the hospitality, fast food, entertainment and retail industries regarding the impact which would result if changes to weekend penalty rates were made.

If the FWC ultimately makes a decision to reduce weekend penalty rates in awards that apply to the above industries, then employers may be encouraged to review their rostering arrangements. 

Both employers and employees will keenly await the outcome of the FWC’s deliberations. 

If you require any assistance in relation to penalty rates, awards or enterprise agreements please contact:

Jim Rutherford
T 03 5226 8579


Sonia McCabe
Senior Associate
T 03 5226 8558