Recent penalty rate changes for Retail & Pharmacy Industry Awards

Penalty rate changes to Pharmacy and Retail industry awards

Penalty rates in the Restaurant, Hospitality, Pharmacy, Fast Food and Retail awards have been gradually changing since 2017. The latest changes that came into effect were the Retail and Pharmacy industry awards. Employers within those industries should be aware of the following changes that came into effect from 1 July 2020.

The changes outlined below are the fourth round of penalty rate reductions that have been phased in as part of the Modern Award review process by the Fair Work Commission.

General Retail Industry Awards 2010 [MA000004]

Who is affected by these penalty rate changes?

The changes will affect full-time and part-time employees (both non-shift workers and shift workers) and casual shift workers covered by the General Retail Industry Awards 2010 [MA000004].

Which penalty rates are changing?


Employment type Old Sunday rate New Sunday rate
Full-time and part-time | (Non-shift worker) 165% 150%
Full-time and part-time | (Shift worker) 190% 175%
Casual | (Shift-worker) 175% 200%

These are the last scheduled changes for full-time and part-time employees as part of this review, however, further changes for casual employees are set to come into effect in October 2020.

Pharmacy Industry Award 2020 [MA000012]

Who is affected by these penalty rate changes?

These changes will affect full-time, part-time and casual employees covered by the Pharmacy Industry Award 2020 [MA000012].

Which penalty rates are changing?

Sundays, between the hours of 7 am – 9 pm

Employment type Old Sunday rate New Sunday rate (7am - 9pm)
Full-time and part-time 165% 150%
Casual 190% 175%

These are the last scheduled changes for the Pharmacy Industry Award as part of this review.

KeyPay's automated Modern Award interpretation

KeyPay offers an extensive list of pre-built automated Modern Awards ready to go so you can be compliant in payroll. Our Modern Awards are also kept up to date, so you can rest assured your award calculations comply with Fair Work. We're happy to confirm that the awards affected by the gradual penalty rate changes since 2017 are available in KeyPay, and the team are consistently updating them according to Fair Work's schedule.

About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.


The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.

Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations’ services include workplace advice, payroll solutions, migration services (visas / sponsorship), human resource management and HR software. Employment Innovation’s partner firm EI Legal provides employment law advice and representation.


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