23 FEBRUARY, 2017: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) supports today’s decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to reduce Sunday Penalty Rates from double time (200%) to time and a half (150%).

Over the last two years the ARA, Master Grocers Association (MGA) and Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) along with many national retailers have been working with the Fair Work Commission to reduce Sunday Penalty Rates under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 (GRIA).

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said today’s decision is welcomed by the ARA and its members.

“Reducing these rates from double time to time and a half, will increase retail growth nationally and reduce the unemployment rate in Australia.”

“With retailers currently paying employees double time on Sundays, many retailers are forced to close their doors on this day, impeding on growth in the retail sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Given today’s decision to reduce Sunday Penalty Rates to 150%, ARA members have said that they will look at employing more staff on a Sunday as it is their busiest trading day of the week.

“Sunday wages have previously been detrimental to Australian retailers, as many employers could only afford to roster one staff member on this day,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The ARA believes this reduction will increase employment of young people who are currently seeking weekend work, as more stores will be able to open on Sundays and have more staff working at these times.

Mr Zimmerman said, “Reducing Sunday rates from double time to time and a half will give employers approximately 4-5% reduction on wages which they will be able to reinvest in employing more staff, increasing employment in the retail industry.”

The ARA will work with the Fair Work Commission to ensure this decision is implemented correctly across the board.


For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $300 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 5,000 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.

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