UNION WIN: Higher penalty rates for casual retail workers from 1 March

From March 1 2021, over 300,000 casual workers will receive a 5% increase to their weeknight penalty rates – thanks to the SDA!

In 2018, the SDA won higher penalty rates in the Retail Award for casuals working after 6pm weeknights and on Saturdays, increasing these penalties to 50% (including the casual loading of 25%) between 2018-2021.

From 1 March, casual penalty rates on Monday-Friday after 6pm under the Retail Award are increasing from 145% to 150% (including the casual loading).

This now brings casual penalty rates into line with permanent penalty rates for the same hours.

While these changes were originally just won in the Retail Award, the SDA has successfully negotiated these increases into a number of Enterprise Agreements including:

  • Best & Less

  • Big W

  • BWS

  • Chapley’s Foodland

  • Coles Supermarkets

  • Dan Murphy’s

  • David Jones

  • Just Group

  • Kmart

  • Officeworks

  • Romeos

  • Woolworths Supermarkets

The changes were fought for because casual workers were receiving lower penalty rates than permanent workers. We believed that was unfair and also gave businesses a financial incentive to casualise work.

The SDA fought hard to secure these new penalty rates because we believe casual workers – just like permanent workers – should be compensated for giving up their time off on weeknights and weekends.

At a time of low wage growth, unions are the only ones fighting  for workers wages to go up.

By standing together we can win better wage outcomes and stronger rights for all workers.

If you’re affected by these changes, remember to check your next payslip to make sure you’re being paid correctly. If you have any questions, call us on 8139 1000.