The Federal Court has rejected United Voice’s and SDA’s bid to have the decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to cut penalty rates in certain modern awards judicially reviewed.

As we have discussed in previous articles on penalty rates and transitional arrangements,  the FWC earlier this year handed down its decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates in hospitality, restaurant, retail, fast food and pharmacy awards.

Unions SDA and United Voice each applied for judicial review seeking to quash the FWC’s decision. The union applications included arguments that the penalty rate cuts were unreasonable and the FWC had failed to take into account relative living standards and the needs of low paid workers.

The five members of the full bench of the Federal Court rejected the unions applications, finding the FWC’s decision contained no jurisdictional error and had been made in accordance with the law. The SDA said it would continue to fight the cut to penalty rates, while the Australian Retailers Association welcomed the ruling.

If you need assistance with penalty rates or understanding award entitlements, or advice about any other workplace matter, please contact:

Jim Rutherford
Harwood Andrews
T: 03 5226 8579

Sonia McCabe
Senior Associate
Harwood Andrews
T: 03 5226 8558

Jenni Walker
Harwood Andrews
T: 03 5226 8577