If the constant new court decisions about casual employees aren’t confusing enough, a Fair Work Review will now see employers fork out higher penalty rates for casual retail workers. The change will take effect from 1 November 2018 – just in time for the Christmas shopping period.


As part of the review, the retail sector union petitioned for an increase in the penalty rates for all Saturdays hours as well as hours worked after 6 pm Monday to Friday. Whereas, the Australian Retailers Association together with Master Grocers Australia applied to have the penalty rates for Sunday shift work reduced.


It ruled a staged reduction in Sunday penalty rates over the next three years, taking the rate from 195% to 180% for full and part-time employees and 220% to 205% for casuals. However, it’s the changes to weekday evenings and Saturday rates that is the most controversial.


Under the award, casual employees will see a staged increase in penalty rates with an additional 15% for all Saturday hours and 5% for evening hours after 6 pm, to take effect from 1 November 2018. That will top out at a 25% rise for Saturday hours and 15% for hours after 6 pm from 1 March 2020.


The full determination totalling 94 pages can be found on the Fair Work website.