If you’re working in hospitality, you’ve probably heard about the updated penalty rate changes implemented by the Fair Work Commission.

Like many hospitality employers and those working in the hospitality industry, we are frustrated by the Award Review’s decision made 2 weeks ago. The changes affect namely casual and part-time entitlements and these distortions will be carried out on the 1st of January, 2018.

Here’s what you need to know

The Fair Work Commission has sanctioned that any casual employee working more than 38 hours a week, or 12 hours a day will be entitled to penalty rates for every hour over 12 per day and every hour over 38 in a week. These penalties start from 150% and increase to 200% of the normal pay rate once the employee has worked two additional hours in surplus of what is now allowed for that day or that week.


These changes might influence more employers to offer full-time employment where employees may be expected to work over 38 hours a week to compensate for the restrictive penalty rate changes. Basically, the outcome could mean a lose-lose situation for employers and employees alike.

Here’s a direct link to the Fair Work Commission’s full breakdown of all the updates.


Why the general reaction has been negative

The Fair Work Commission has mandated these significant changes with little to no proven consultation to the hospitality industry. It has also been implemented in the midst of our current challenging economic climate, so soon after other rate changes, and with minimal notice during the industry’s busiest time of year. It also creates more work for employers and can residually restrict employees from hours that they were otherwise keen to work. More than that, it could be hours that they were counting on. Ultimately, these disruptive changes have not bode well for good reason.


On the other hand 

There could also be some favourable results from the penalty rate changes. Hear us out: For example, it could influence operators to schedule more effectively, which could mean less overworked employees. Keep in mind that these overtime and break penalties have been set up to deter employers from exploiting their staff in the first place.


What to do 

If you, like many, are distraught with these adjustments, we encourage you to contact the Fair Work Commission or your Industry Association to provide feedback. While it’s unlikely that the government will retract the Fair Work Commission’s implementation, your voice matters and, in our humble opinion, the Commission should be aware that their poorly-planned decisions won’t be quietly accepted without consequence. With any luck, an influx of feedback can influence these decision-makers to act more diligently before making drastic changes moving forward.


As always, we are here to support.

 Complimentary Discovery Session



About the author BENCHMARQUE

Articles published by us are intended to inspire 100,000 people to join the hospitality industry before 2020. We produce content to support professional growth opportunities while providing hospitality operators valuable guidance and solutions to help lead their venues through the skills challenges expected across the hospitality and events industries both in Australia and abroad. Ask us how you can help the industry achieve this target.


Staffing Solutions: Temporary & Permanent

Discover our informative industry-specific fact sheets and how you can enable operational freedom.

Download your copy


The Intelligent Travellers Guide to a Working Holiday in Australia

Full of tips for making the most of this highly rated bucket list experience.

Download your copy

Discover More

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid at Your Hospi...

With 11 years of operation as a successful hospitality business and over 60 years of collective experience in hospi...

October 18, 2018

Sydney's Top Restaurants Earn Their Hats

It's no secret that Good Food is Australia's leading guide for dining out and eating in. Good Food is also responsi...

October 17, 2018

Why It Pays to Work in Sydney's Restaura...

Australia employs over 288,000 individuals in the restaurant industry. Based on sheer numbers alone, the $20 billio...

October 16, 2018


Submit a job vacancy

Got a position you need to fill? Please enter the job vacancy details below

Thank you your job vacancy has been posted


Submit your resume

Tell us a bit about yourself,
fill out the form below

Not ready to post a vacancy?

Subscribe to our newsletter instead to keep up to date

Not ready to submit a resume?

Subscribe to our newsletter instead to keep up to date