Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

Landmark SA Enterprise Agreement Removes Saturday Penalty Rates

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25/03/2015

Saturday penalty rates will be abolished and Sunday rates halved in South Australia under a landmark enterprise agreement that a union has described as a win for employers and workers.
 
Key points of the deal include:

  1. Current 25 per cent Saturday penalty rate will be abolished
  2. Sunday penalty rate will be time-and-a-half rather than double time
  3. Public holidays penalty will be double time rather than double time and a half
  4. Higher base rate of pay will give full-time workers an extra $60 or so per week, or about 8 per cent more
  5. Workers are able to choose not to work every second weekend
  6. They can ask not to work Sundays at all
  7. Length of meal breaks will be extended 
Penalty rates have been described as being a barrier to retailers opening and employing people on Sundays and public holidays, with Business SA noting that the current system is not providing what is needed and this is evidenced by high business closures and unemployment.

The CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kate Carnell said the agreement could help reboot its struggling retail sector and stimulate jobs growth, and set an example for the rest of the country. She also expressed that she hoped such deals could spread to other states.

Only time will tell if employers opt to take up the agreement, however it is a landmark move  and will no doubt spur discussion in other states who are also looking into the survivability of penalty rates in today’s economy.

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