As widely reported in the media, the Fair Work Commission has handed down its much anticipated decision on Penalty Rates.

The decision effectively:

(a) reduces Sunday penalty rates in the retail industry from 200% to 150% (for permanent staff) and from 200% to 175% (for casuals);

(b) reduces Sunday penalty rates in the hospitality industry from 175% to 150% (for permanent staff only);

(c) reduces Sunday penalty rates in the fast food industry (Level 1 only) from 150% to 125% (for permanent staff) and 175% to 150% (for casual staff);

(d) reduces Sunday penalty rates in the pharmacy industry (7am-9pm only) from 200% to 150% for permanents and from 200% to 175% for casuals; and

(e) reduces public holiday penalty rates as follows:

(i) in the Hospitality Award from 250% to 225% for permanent employees and from 275% to 250% for casuals;

(ii) in the Restaurant Award from 250% to 225% for permanent employees;

(iii) in the Retail Award from 250% to 225% for permanent employees and to 250% for casuals;

(iv) in the Fast Food Award from 250% to 225% for permanent employees and from 275% to 250% for casuals; and

(v) in the Pharmacy Award from 250% to 225% for permanent employees and from 275% to 250% for casuals.

A final decision has not yet been made as to when

these changes will take effect, however it is likely that:

1. The Public holiday changes will take effect from 1 July 2017;

2. The variation to the early/late night loadings in Restaurant and Fast Food Awards will take effect in late March 2017;

3. The variations to the Sunday penalty