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1 March: Check if casual penalty rate increases apply to you

From 1 March 2020, penalty rates under the Retail Award for casuals increased for work after 6pm Monday to Friday and all day on Saturdays.

These improvements, which were introduced in 2018, will continue to be phased in over the next 12 months.

From 1 March 2020 the following changes to penalty rates for casual workers will be applicable:

  • After 6pm Monday to Friday: 135% to 140%
  • Saturdays: 145% to 150%

While this marks the final increase to casual penalty rates for Saturday work, retail workers can still look forward to week night work increasing a further 10% by March 2021.

These increases, which effect 350,000 casual retail workers, were won by the SDA, the union for retail workers, in the Fair Work Commission.

The SDA believes casual workers should receive fair compensation for working unsociable hours.

SDA National Secretary Gerard Dwyer welcomed the Fair Work Commission decision as a major win that has resulted in significant pay increases for hundreds of thousands of retail workers.

“These measures go some way to addressing the unjust treatment of casual workers under the Award who are not properly compensated for the absence of sick pay, annual leave and the insecurity of work.”

“This will result in significant pay increases for over 350,000 hard-working retail employees on the Award and will have important flow effects for employees on enterprise bargaining agreements right across Australia’s retail sector.”

If you’re a casual employee at one the following companies, increases should also apply to you:

Barbeque’s Galore
Best & Less
Big W
Bras N Things
Cheap as Chips
Coles Supermarkets
Country Road Group
Dan Murphy’s
David Jones
H & M
Harris Scarfe
Just Group
Pretty Girl Fashion Group
Super Fashion Group
Super Retail Group
The Reject Shop
Suzanne Grae
Woolworths Supermarkets


The increases to casual penalty rates are another example of SDA members continuing to stand up for fair pay and better wages.

Improvements to casual penalty rates apply for workers covered by the General Retail Industry Award. They also flow on to many SDA-negotiated Agreements. If you’re unsure about what applies to you, contact the SDA for information and advice.