REMINDER: Upcoming changes to the Retail Award
As 2021 races by at an already alarming rate, NRA Legal takes this opportunity to remind members of several changes to the General Retail Industry Award 2020 (Retail Award) coming up in the first half of the year.
Final change to casual evening penalty rates on 1 March 2021
Further the decision of the Fair Work Commission in October 2018, the penalty rates payable to casual employees after 6:00PM Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays, have been incrementally increasing over the last few years.
Although changes to the Saturday penalty rate concluded on 1 March 2020, the evening penalty rate has continued to increase.
The final increase to the casual evening penalty rate, from 45% to 50% (inclusive of the casual loading) will take effect from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 March 2021.
Junior rates limited to levels 1 to 3 from 1 May 2021
Readers will recall our previous article where we advised of a recent decision by the Fair Work Commission to limit the application of junior rates in the General Retail Industry Award 2020 (Retail Award).
Because of this decision, all retail employees engaged in the classification of Retail Employee Level 4 and above will be entitled to the adult wage, regardless of their age.
Although staunch opposition from the National Retail Association (NRA) was unable to dissuade the Fair Work Commission from this course of action, it did prevent the Commission from granting the even more egregious claim advanced by the SDA, which would have seen junior rates abolished for all employees engaged as Retail Employee Level 2 or higher.
The NRA was also able to persuade the Commission to delay the implementation of these changes. Pointing out the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the retail sector, the Commission determined to delay the implementation of these changes until the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 May 2021.
Employers who engage junior employees at the classification of Retail Employee Level 4 or higher should examine what impact, if any, this change will have on their labour costs and examine how this may be dealt with.
If you have any questions about the above matters, please contact NRA Legal on 1800 572 679.