Prepare for penalty rate pay cuts

Aussie workers to have weekend wages reduced

  • If you‘re one of the hundreds of thousands of Aussies who work in some of the country’s lowest paid jobs, prepare for a big cash cut.
  • The Fair Work Commission has just announced cuts to Sunday penalty pay rates for workers in the retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy industries.
  • The news is a crushing blow to those who currently sacrifice Sundays with family and friends to work instead, in return for their Sunday penalty rates.

Here’s a quick wrap up of the Sunday penalty rate cuts


  • If you work under the Hospitality Award – full or part timers will see their Sunday penalty rate reduced from 175 to 150%.
  • If you’re casual, you’re safe for now – your penalty rate remains at 175%.

Fast Food

  • If you work under the Fast Food Award – Level 1 full or part time staff will have your Sunday penalty rate reduced from 150% to 125%.
  • Casuals also face a pay cut, with a penalty rate reduction from 175% to 150%.


  • Retail Award workers face some of the most significant penalty rate cuts. Full and part time staff will see their Sunday penalty rate reduced from 200% to 150%.
  • Retail casuals will also take a penalty pay rate cut from 200% to 175%.

Holiday rates hit too!

The pay cuts don’t end there.

  • Full and part timers in Hospitality and Retail will also face cuts to their holiday penalty rates.
  • These will be slashed from double time and a half – or 250% – down to 225%.

When will the pay cuts happen?

The penalty rate reductions announced today will take effect from July 2017.

What’s the fallout?

  • Unions and workers are furious at these penalty pay rate cuts.
  • They say the cuts will reduce wages for many struggling workers by as much as 25 to 30%.
  • More than a million Aussie workers will have their take-home pay cut by over 20%, or around $6,000 a year.
  • It’s feared the pay cuts could force many working families into severe financial hardship.

What do you think of the Sunday penalty rate pay cuts? Will you be affected? Tell us what you think!