The SDA is running a case in the Fair Work Commission to increase penalty rates for casual workers under the General Retail Industry Award.
If we are successful, casual workers would benefit from increased penalty rates on Saturdays, and receive additional penalty rates for working after 6pm from Monday to Saturday.
Introduction of penalty rates after 6pm, Monday to Saturday
The SDA is pushing for casual workers to receive penalty rates on top of their casual loading for working after 6pm from Monday to Saturday.
Under the General Retail Industry Award, casual workers do not currently receive penalty rates for working after 6pm on these days.
However, permanent workers receive a penalty rate for working after 6pm on Mondays to Saturdays.
The SDA believes casual workers are also entitled to penalty rates for work after 6pm from Monday to Saturday, and this should be applied in addition to the casual loading.
Saturday Discount to stop
Under the General Retail Industry Award, casual workers currently receive the casual loading for working on Saturdays (to 6pm) and a reduced penalty rate of 10%.
This means a casual only receives 35% for Saturday.
Under the SDA’s application, the total a casual would receive is 50% which is the full casual loading of 25% plus the full Saturday penalty of 25%.
Better rights for casuals
Earlier this year, the SDA and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) won better rights for casual workers through a new casual conversion clause in Modern Awards that gave casual workers the right to request permanent work.
The SDA was also successful in our claim to secure overtime rates of pay for casual retail and fast food workers covered by Awards.
Our case in the Fair Work Commission to increase penalty rates for casual workers is another way the SDA is working for better pay and rights for casuals.
Improving the pay of casual workers in Awards is crucial to workers covered by SDA-negotiated Agreements because it lifts the floor from which we negotiate those Agreements.
If the relevant Award is improved, then it should flow on to SDA-negotiated Agreements during the next round of negotiations.
If you have questions about our case in the Fair Work Commission, please contact the SDA on 9698 1400 or Freecall (from landline only) 1800 133 049.
This article was originally published in The Shop Assistant Journal - Summer 2017: Vol 81, Iss 4