Retail Award Break changes

All hours worked without the required 12-hour break (or 10 hours by agreement) between shifts are now to be paid at 200% of the employee’s minimum hourly rate until the employee receives the required break. The previous version of the award mandated that employers pay employees double the rate they would have been paid for the shift. The revised regulation specifies that the employer must now pay double (200%) of the employee’s minimum hourly rate instead.

Ordinary hours worked on public holidays are paid at the penalty rates specified in the award. Casual employees also receive their casual loading, calculated on their minimum hourly rate. These changes took effect from the first full pay period starting on or after May 14, 2024.

Example: Employee Starts Work Without Minimum Break Between Shifts

Felix is a part-time employee working the following shifts:
– Thursdays: 3 pm – 8:30 pm
– Fridays: 8:30 am – 4 pm
– Saturdays: 9 am – 3 pm

There is no agreement for a shorter minimum break period between shifts. Therefore, Felix is entitled to a minimum of 12 hours break between shifts.

If Felix is asked to stay back and close the shop on a Thursday, resulting in a finish time of 9 pm, and then starts work at the usual time on Friday without a 12-hour break, Felix will be paid 200% of the minimum hourly rate for the hours worked on Friday due to the insufficient break between shifts.

Starting Work Later to Ensure 12-Hour Break

If Felix is asked to start later on Friday morning to ensure a 12-hour break, Felix will still be paid from the usual start time until the conclusion of the shift at the ordinary pay rate.

For more information, refer to the official update from Fair Work Australia: [Fair Work Newsroom]



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