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On 1 October 2020, increases to evening penalty rates for casual employees in the retail sector came into effect.

Employers in the retail sector will be required to review and update casual employee wages, as changes to the General Retail Industry Award 2010 increase the loading paid to casual employees for evening work, Monday to Friday, to a loading of 45%, inclusive of casual loading, from the current loading of 40%.

Importantly, the Award specifies that the new rates come into effect from 1 October 2020, and not the first full pay period following.

Employers in the retail sector need to regularly review wage rates for all employees, as there has been a significant focus by the Fair Work Ombudsman recently on wage compliance and underpayment liabilities. Employers should conduct a regular review of employee wages and salaries, to ensure they comply with the law, to avoid the significant penalties that apply for non-compliance.

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