The penalty rates cut is here to stay, as unions lose their legal bid to overturn the Fair Work Commission’s decision to slash rates for retail and hospitality workers.

The Federal Court dismissed a case brought by United Voice and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, which argued the Fair Work Commission’s decision was “legally unreasonable”.

The Federal Court found that the commission had met its legal obligations when it made the decision to slash Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for retail and hospitality workers.

The Unions argued that the Commission failed to consider how slashing penalty rates would affect workers earning minimum wage. But Federal Court judge Mordy Bromberg said the court’s role was limited to whether an administrative error was made.

It is estimated that up to 500,000 people will be affected by the changes, with some workers losing close to $6,000 a year.

The public holiday cuts came into effect in July this year. The Sunday penalty rate cuts will be introduced over the next couple of years.

Image: Hospitality Workers Training Centre

Emma Mead

Emma Mead

Personal Injury Lawyer and Founder