Defence force

The next battle in the war over award wages is starting this month

Restaurant & Catering is defending the decision of the Fair Work Commission Full Bench in the appeal of the two-year review of the Restaurant Award. This appeal resulted in the 25 per cent reduction in Sunday penalties for casuals at level one and two.

The appeal of the appeal will be held in August. The unions have increased the level of Counsel and will have a Senior Counsel of some repute. Harry Dixon SC continues representing the Association in this next phase.

The appeal is proceeding in the Federal Court—a more difficult and formal jurisdiction than the Fair Work Commission (FWC). It’s therefore more expensive. While the NSW Business Chamber is assisting in the defence, the Association does need to raise additional resources for this case.

What’s at stake is $116 million, which the 25 per cent reduction on Sundays is estimated to save. This could be overturned and businesses would have to go back to previous rates and back pay to the beginning of July.

This decision is saving the industry money-—returning sustainable margins in Sunday trading. Please visit to contribute.

John Hart
CEO, Restaurant & Catering

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