Staff working at a hardware store selling tools and looking at the camera smiling

Casual retail employees will receive an increased penalty rate for Saturday and evening work from 1 October 2019. The increase affects all businesses who employ casual staff under the General Retail Industry Award 2010.

Casual staff will receive a rate of 135% for evening work Monday to Friday and 145% for Saturday shifts. This is the second stage in increases to the Saturday and evening penalty rates for casual workers covered by the retail award.

The increasing retail penalty rates are putting extra strain on small business retailers that are constantly being hit with changes, according to Employsure senior employment relations adviser, Alexandra Woods.

“Small business employers are going into the peak season and increasing consumer demand for longer operating hours before Christmas, and these increased costs add to the list of challenges,” she said. “It’s so important for businesses to be across these changes ahead of the busiest period. Get the right advice to avoid paying the expensive price of getting it wrong.”

By 2020, casual workers will be entitled to a 25% Saturday penalty rate on top of their withstanding 25% casual loading, bringing their total pay to 150% of the base award rate. Casuals will also be entitled to an extra 15% loading for all work performed after 6pm Monday to Friday.