2018 - 11 - 01: Retail Award (GRIA) Changes - Penalty rate rise for casual retail workers

NOTE: Fairwork has now released their official statement of changes to the GRIA Award. However, we always recommend that you consult your industry association to confirm how to interpret the GRIA Award changes and how they apply to your organisation.




Recent reports state that casual retail staff who work weeknights and Saturdays will receive a boost to their penalty rates following a FWC full bench decision.

The SDA Union for Retail, Fast Food and Warehousing workers has won a major case in the Fair Work Commission that will see more than 350,000 casual retail workers receive increased penalty rates from November this year. 

"This means that casual workers covered by the retail award will receive casual loadings on top of penalty rate loadings for weeknights and Saturdays" said SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer.

“The SDA has been successful in winning a penalty rate increase for casual employees after 6pm Monday to Friday, and a 25% penalty rate increase for all ordinary hours worked on a Saturday.”

In other news, it's being reported that the FWC has also decided to begin reducing Sunday rates for both permanent and casual shift workers by 25 per cent. Currently Sunday shiftworker rates for permanent shiftworkers are 200 per cent and 225 per cent for casual shiftworkers. 

It is expected that the changes will be transitional:

  • Evening penalty rates (after 6pm) will be transitional over 5 periods from 01Nov

  • Saturday 7am - 6pm penalty rates will be transitional over 3 periods from 01Nov


What clients need to do.

The GRIA Award changes apply from 01 November onwards - for the first full payroll period in November.


It is our client's responsibility to ensure their account is configured and updated to reflect new pay conditions.

This may include updating rates in BOTH easyemployer AND your payroll application if necessary:

  • no payroll integration between ee and your payroll application - you will need to update rates in both systems.
  • payroll integration between ee and MYOB ARL API integration, XERO or Payroll Guru - updated pay rates in ee will flow through to payroll application.
  • payroll integration between ee and any other payroll application - you will need to update rates in both systems.


- - - - - - -

*IMPORTANT*pay rates must be updated DURING the payroll period they apply to - updating them after the payroll period will mean they do not retrospectively apply.

- - - - - - - 


Clients need to update relevant award items (e.g. rate tables, allowances) during the "first full pay period" and should be done after you complete the last payroll at the old rates.  Clients should not be waiting until the "first full pay period" has ended - as the changes do not get automatically backdated to payroll periods already finalised. Furthermore, clients should also be doing audits of any changes they make - so these changes should be made with plenty of time and preparation. 

Client has a payroll period that falls from 26th October - 2nd November. That payroll period needs to be finalised with no updates made. The client's next payroll period... 03 November -10  November... falls fully within the new changed period. Client needs to make updates during that payroll period so as to have them be effective for that payroll period. Client should check all changes to make sure they are working correctly.


Don't want to do your own updates?

easyemployer does offer clients a paid award updating service. If you would like this to be done for you then you'll need to advise us by the 25th of October

Please email support@easyemployer.com 

  • please put "GRIA award update service required" in the title.

Also, please include the following information in your email:

  • the dates of your first full pay period that falls in November the new financial year.
  • the date that you will be processing the payroll for that period.
  • instructions on what you'd like updated and/or a pay rate table of updates that you intend to follow (if you don't have this yet then please forward to us as soon as you get it.

Once we receive your request and the above information we will provide you a quote for doing the work. The cost of works will depend on many factors and it's all quoted based on how long it will take us to make the changes to your account.

Once the updates are actioned by the easyemployer team, you should audit the changes yourself to ensure they are all working as intended.



Common articles for end of financial year updates.

Updating payroll categories and position rates

Assigning and changing a users pay group or base hourly rate


Webinar Video - updating position hourly rates and payroll codes. 


Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk