The penalty rates campaign continues to move forward with the Federal Court recently deciding to reject a union-led application appealing the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) penalty rate decision in February year. This marked a significant win for each of the employer groups represented in the case, which included the Association’s industrial arm, Restaurant & Catering Industrial (RCI). The Federal Court’s decision meant that not only were the FWC’s previous penalty rate reductions across a number of different Awards upheld but also that RCI’s new application for Sunday penalty rates reductions in the Restaurant Award can proceed unimpeded. The unions’ argument, that the FWC’s decision was “legally unreasonable” was dismissed.
The unions had previously argued for a stay against RCI’s new penalty rates application, pending the outcome of this Federal Court Case. This is now a moot point with the Federal Court rejecting the unions’ case. A full bench hearing is scheduled in November which will ultimately decide whether RCI’s application will proceed and further Sunday penalty rate reductions in the Restaurant Award will be considered. At time of writing, the outcome of this hearing is unknown, however at time of printing, the outcome may have been decided. The Association will update its members once the outcome of this hearing has been settled.
Mark Scanlan, President
Restaurant & Catering Australia