General Retail Industry Award Guide

Staying compliant with the General Retail Industry Award 2020 is essential for any Australian retail business. This comprehensive guide breaks down the Award's key provisions, including pay, work hours, allowances, leave entitlements and more. Get clear answers to your questions and ensure your business is operating within the award.

Overview of the General Retail Industry Award 2020

This article details some of the key provisions in the General Retail Industry Award 2020, including what types of businesses it covers, the different levels of employee classifications under the Award and guidance on employee entitlements.

The summary has been updated to include changes to the Award that came into effect on 1 July 2021, related to part-time employees and overtime. These changes allow part-time employees to agree to work hours in addition to their regular hours and only be paid ordinary hourly rates.

If you require any assistance in understanding your rights or employer obligations under the Retail Industry Award, please contact us by calling our 24/7 Employer Assist Line at 1300 144 002.

Does the Retail Award apply to your business?

The General Retail Industry Award 2020 applies to a wide range of employers and employees involved in the direct sale of goods or services to consumers for personal, household, or business use.

If your business directly sells products or services to individual consumers, you're likely covered by the General Retail Award 2020.  This includes businesses such as:

  • Supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Department stores (clothing, soft goods, etc.)
  • Bakeries selling their own baked products
  • Furniture, homeware, and appliance stores
  • Newsagents
  • Customer information services within shopping centers and retail complexes
  • Clerical work directly performed at a retail store or location
  • Online retail businesses
  • Businesses selling products door-to-door

The Retail Award generally extends to online retailers and door-to-door sales operations selling similar products to physical stores listed above.

Businesses not typically covered by the Retail Award

It's important to note that the General Retail Industry Award 2020 does not apply to all businesses.  Here are some main examples of businesses usually covered by other industry awards:

  • Pharmacies (covered by the Pharmacy Industry Award 2020)
  • Hair and beauty establishments (covered by the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010)
  • Butcher shops (covered by the Meat Industry Award 2020)
  • Fast food outlets (covered by the Fast Food Industry Award 2010)
  • Clerical work performed away from retail locations (e.g., at company headquarters, likely covered by the Clerks Private Sector Award 2020)
  • Motor vehicle sales and parts retailing (covered by the Vehicle Repair Services and Retail Award 2020)
  • Warehousing and distribution centers (may be covered by awards like the Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2020)

Classification levels and how pay is determined

The General Retail Industry Award 2020 requires you to classify each employee into a specific level. This classification level dictates their minimum hourly rate of pay. You can find detailed descriptions of each level in Schedule A of the Award and the corresponding pay rates in Schedule B.

If you have employees aged 20 and under, you can pay them reduced rates. However, it's important to note that as of 1 May 2021, junior rates only apply to classification levels 1 through 3. Employees classified as levels 4 through 8 must receive the full adult rate, regardless of their age.

Pay rates within the Award increase periodically. Ensure you refer to the most up-to-date information to remain compliant.

General Retail Industry Award 2020
Level 1: Entry level positions

This classification level suits employees who are new to working in the retail industry or have minimal relevant experience. It's also appropriate for employees starting out in basic clerical roles within a retail environment.

Typical job titles at level 1 include:

  • Shop Assistant
  • Clerical Officer Level 1 (especially when newly recruited)
  • Check-out Operator
  • Store Worker
  • Telephone Order Salesperson
  • Door-to-door or Retail Outdoor Salesperson
  • Driver
Level 2: Employees with specialised skills

This level is appropriate for employees who demonstrate skills or responsibilities beyond the entry-level positions found in Level 1. However, they might not yet have the experience or qualifications necessary for the more supervisory roles in Level 3.

Typical job titles at level 2 include:

  • Forklift Operator
  • Ride-on Equipment Operator
  • Other roles requiring specialized equipment operation or specific technical skills

Specific job responsibilities, in addition to job titles, should be carefully considered when classifying employees at Level 2.

Level 3: Supervisory roles

Employees classified at Level 3 often have supervisory duties, increased responsibility, or specialised skills beyond Level 2 positions. This might involve overseeing other employees, handling financial responsibilities, or operating complex machinery.

Typical job titles at level 3 include:

  • Machine Operator (where specific training or experience is required)
  • 2IC to a Department Manager
  • Senior Salesperson (with demonstrated experience and/or sales targets)
  • Driver Selling Stock
  • Sole Employee of a Store (with overall operational responsibility)

Level 3 employees often have decision-making authority or act with a higher level of independence than those in Levels 1 and 2.

Level 4: Trade qualified roles and entry level management

This level encompasses two distinct types of positions, including employees who must hold a relevant trade qualification to perform their job duties (e.g., baker, electrician, butcher within a retail setting) responsible for managing sections/departments, supervising small teams (up to four, including themselves), and making independent decisions about stock control and ordering.

Typical job titles at level 4 include:

  • Assistant Manager/Deputy Manager/2IC to Shop Manager (in stores without distinct departments)
  • Shift Work Supervisor
  • Section/Department Manager (supervising teams of up to two)
  • Clerical Officer Level 2 (demonstrating greater independence and skill than Level 1)
Level 5: Senior trade roles with supervisory responsibility

Employees at Level 5 hold relevant trade qualifications and have the added responsibility of overseeing the work of other tradespeople within their department or section of the retail operation.

Typical job titles at level 5 include:

  • Head Butcher (managing a team of butchers)
  • Senior Baker (overseeing bakery production and staff)
  • Head Electrician (responsible for electrical goods and a team within a large retail setting)

The key differentiator for Level 5 is the combination of trade qualifications and the direct supervision of other employees within the same trade.

Level 6: Increased management and supervisory roles

Employees at Level 6 have significant managerial responsibilities, either with larger teams or overseeing more complex operations. They may also hold specialised skills or certifications relevant to their duties.

Typical job titles at level 6 include:

  • Section/Department Manager (supervising teams of five or more)
  • Manager/Duty Manager (in stores without distinct departments)
  • Assistant/Deputy/2IC Shop Manager (in stores with departments)
  • Clerical Officer Level 3 (possessing skills to train/supervise others)

Examples of Specialised clerical tasks include:

  • Providing expert advice within a specific area
  • Preparing complex financial reports (cash summaries, banking, etc.)
  • Handling sensitive processes (wages, credit referrals, purchasing)
Level 7: Specialised expertise and decision making

Employees at Level 7 often hold qualifications like diplomas or industry specific certifications. They typically have significant experience within their field, allowing them to work with greater autonomy. A key distinction of Level 7 roles is the employee's ability to exercise independent judgment, making decisions that impact their area of responsibility with minimal supervision needed.

Typical job titles at level 7 include:

  • Visual Merchandiser (holding a diploma or equivalent qualification)
  • Clerical Officer Level 4 (demonstrating greater skill, experience, and autonomy than Level 3)
Level 8: Senior management

Employees at Level 8 often hold management positions responsible for the overall operation of a store or hold highly specialised roles with significant decision-making authority. Diploma level qualifications might be associated with positions at this level.

Typical job titles at level 8 include:

  • Shop Manager (overseeing a store with distinct departments or sections)
  • Clerical Officer Level 5 (with duties involving workload management, problem-solving, quality control, and performance management of other staff)

When classifying employees at Level 8, remember that while diplomas or equivalent qualifications are often present, they aren't mandatory. The primary focus should center on the employee's skills, level of responsibility and their ability to work autonomously. Level 8 employees should demonstrate significant independence when making decisions and managing their designated areas of operation.

General Retail Industry Award 2020 - Employment Compass

Types of employment

Under the General Retail Industry Award 2020, all employees fall into one of three classifications: full-time, part-time, or casual. Employers must clearly inform employees of their classification at the beginning of their employment.


A full-time employee works an average of 38 ordinary hours per week. While employers have flexibility in scheduling these hours, they must adhere to specific Award rules regarding the spread of hours (i.e. start/finish times), maximum daily work hours, consecutive days worked and breaks between shifts. The Award also permits averaging of hours over a designated period with employee agreement.


A part-time employee works less than 38 ordinary hours per week, and their schedule should be reasonably predictable. There's a minimum engagement of three hours per day for all part-time employees.

As of 1 July 2021, the Award allows for flexibility in part-time work arrangements. With a written agreement, part-time employees can work additional hours beyond their regular schedule at ordinary hourly rates (instead of overtime rates).

Part-time employees must have a written agreement outlining their regular working pattern. This agreement should be created when they are initially hired and updated with a new written agreement whenever changes are made. The agreement must clearly specify:

  • The guaranteed hours to be worked on each day of the week
  • The exact starting and finishing times for each workday
  • The required timing and duration of any meal breaks

Flexibility in part-time schedules

The General Retail Industry Award 2020 provides flexibility for employers and part-time employees to mutually agree on temporary or ongoing changes to the employee's regular working pattern. Any changes must be formalised in a written agreement. This agreement can be in the form of a formal document, email or even a text message.

The written agreement must be in place before any changes to the part-time employee's schedule take effect. If the change is for a single specific shift, the agreement must be finalised before the end of that shift.

If a part-time employee works additional hours within the terms of a temporary or ongoing agreed-upon schedule change, they will be paid their ordinary hourly rate. Overtime rates do not automatically apply in these situations.

When overtime applies

A part-time employee is entitled to overtime rates only in the following circumstances:

  • Working hours beyond their regular schedule without a prior written agreement in place
  • Working hours in excess of an agreed schedule variation
  • Exceeding the daily or weekly maximum work hours outlined in our overtime section below


Casual employees do not have guaranteed hours and typically work irregular schedules. To compensate for the absence of benefits like annual leave, sick leave, notice periods and redundancy pay, casual employees receive a 25% loading on top of their base hourly rate.

There is a minimum engagement period of three hours for each shift a casual employee works. However, a shorter minimum engagement of 1.5 hours is permissible if the following conditions are met:

  • The employee is a full-time secondary student
  • The shift falls between 3:00 pm and 6:30 pm on a school day
  • The employee's parent or guardian provides written consent

Casual conversion

Casual employees who have worked a regular work pattern for a minimum of 12 months can request that their employment status be converted to either full-time or part-time.  Employers are obligated to inform all casual employees about this right by providing them with a copy of the relevant clause in the General Retail Industry Award. This information should be provided within the employee's first 12 months of employment, and ideally at the start of their work term.

Employers must carefully consider any requests for conversion received from eligible casual employees. While there's a right to refuse the request, this refusal must be based on reasonable business grounds. If you need a copy of the specific Award clause related to casual conversion to provide to employees, please contact our Employer Assist Line.


Full-time and part-time employees

Understanding when overtime rates apply is crucial for staying compliant with the Award. Overtime must be paid in the following situations:

1. Any work performed outside the typical spread of ordinary hours as defined in the Award:

  • Monday to Friday: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Saturday: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

2. When a part-time employee works hours beyond their agreed-upon schedule and no prior written agreement is in place to modify their work pattern.

3. When an employee works more than nine hours in a single day (with an exception of one day per week where up to 11 hours can be worked before overtime is triggered).

4. When an employee works more than an average of 38 hours per week calculated over their roster cycle (which cannot exceed four weeks).

Employees are generally entitled to a minimum 12-hour break between shifts. If an employee works without receiving this 12-hour break, they must be paid double-time until they receive the required break. However, employers and employees can mutually agree to shorten this break to 10 hours.

Casual employees

Casual employees are entitled to overtime pay when their work falls outside of the parameters outlined below:

1. Overtime applies for work performed outside these ordinary hour ranges:

  • Monday to Friday: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Saturday: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

2. If a casual employee works an average of more than 38 hours per week, calculated over their roster cycle (with a maximum cycle length of four weeks).

The specific days of the week included in the 'spread of ordinary hours' might vary depending on individual Award provisions. Always refer to the General Retail Industry Award 2020 for the most up-to-date information.

Ordinary hours and rostering

The General Retail Industry Award 2020 mandates a standard workweek of 38 ordinary hours. These hours can be averaged over a period of up to four weeks or longer with employee agreement.  Here's an overview of key points employers need to know:

Spread of Ordinary Hours - Ordinary hours typically fall within the following ranges:

  • Monday to Friday: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Saturday: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Weekend and evening work - Working ordinary hours on weekends or in the evenings incurs penalty rates as outlined in the Award.

Daily hour limits - Employees generally cannot work more than nine ordinary hours per day. However, employers may schedule up to 11 ordinary hours on one day per week.

Rostering flexibility (full-time) - Employers have flexibility in how they roster full-time employees within the 38-hour week. However, the following rules must be observed:

  • Employees must receive two consecutive days off per week or three consecutive days off within a two-week cycle.
  • Employees cannot work more than six consecutive days (including overtime).

Certain retail businesses may operate with ordinary hours outside the standard spread:

  • Newsagencies may have ordinary hours starting from 5:00 am.
  • Video shops may have ordinary hours extending until midnight.
  • Businesses with extended trading hours: Until 11:00 pm (if trading beyond 9:00 pm Mon-Fri, or 6:00 pm Sat-Sun)

Any work performed outside the designated ordinary hours must be paid at overtime rates. For in-depth rostering rules, refer to clause 15.6 of the Award.

Overtime rates

The specific overtime rate paid to an employee depends on the day and time the overtime work is performed. Here's a breakdown:

Full-time and part-time employees

  • Monday to Saturday (first 3 hours): 150% of the employee's base hourly rate.
  • Monday to Saturday (after 3 hours): 200% of the employee's base hourly rate.
  • Sunday: 200% of the employee's base hourly rate.
  • Public Holidays: 250% of the employee's base hourly rate.

Casual employees

  • Monday to Saturday (first 3 hours): 175% of the employee's base hourly rate.
  • Monday to Saturday (after 3 hours): 225% of the employee's base hourly rate.
  • Sunday: 225% of the employee's base hourly rate.
  • Public Holidays: 275% of the employee's base hourly rate.

Overtime is always calculated on a daily basis.

General Retail Industry Award 2020

Understanding time off in lieu (TOIL)

The General Retail Industry Award 2020 allows employers and employees to agree on Time Off In Lieu (TOIL) as an alternative to overtime pay. If both parties agree in writing, an employee can accrue time off equivalent to the overtime payment they would have earned.  For example, working two hours of overtime at the time-and-a-half rate would entitle the employee to three hours of TOIL.

Here are some important rules around TOIL:

  • Any TOIL arrangement must be formalised in a written agreement signed by both employer and employee.
  • Accrued TOIL must be taken within six months of when the overtime was worked.
  • The timing of when TOIL is taken should be mutually agreed upon by the employer and employee.

Penalty rates and when they apply

Employees are entitled to penalty rates when they work ordinary hours outside of the standard spread established by the General Retail Industry Award 2020. This includes scenarios such as working ordinary hours between 6:00 pm and the end of the standard workday (as defined by the Award) on Monday through Saturday, working ordinary hours at any time on Saturday or Sunday, or working ordinary hours on a public holiday. Specifically, this includes:

Full-time and part-time employees

  • Monday to Saturday (after 6:00 pm): 125% of their base hourly rate
  • Saturday (all day): 125% of their base hourly rate
  • Sunday (all day): 150% of their base hourly rate
  • Public Holidays: 225% of their base hourly rate

Casual employees

  • Monday to Saturday (after 6:00 pm): 150% of their base hourly rate (inclusive of casual loading)
  • Saturday (all day): 150% of their base hourly rate (inclusive of casual loading)
  • Sunday (all day): 175% of their base hourly rate (inclusive of casual loading)
  • Public Holidays: 250% of their base hourly rate (inclusive of casual loading)

Public holiday options

Employers and full-time or part-time employees can mutually agree on an alternative to the standard Public Holiday penalty rate. This agreement can include:

  • Payment at the minimum hourly Public Holiday rate.
  • Accruing Time Off In Lieu (TOIL) equivalent to the Public Holiday hours worked (to be taken within 28 days).
  • Adding the equivalent Public Holiday hours to the employee's annual leave balance.

Any alternative arrangement for Public Holiday work must be formalised in a written agreement.

Shift work

The Retail Industry Award has specific provisions for "shift work," which refers to shifts that start at or after 6:00 pm on one day and end before 5:00 am on the following day. Note that shifts starting and finishing within the standard span of ordinary hours on the same day are not considered shift work. Specific rules for baking production employees can be found in Part 6 of the Award.

When employees work shifts, all time from the actual start to the actual finish of the shift must be paid at shift work rates. This includes paid meal and rest breaks. Here's a breakdown of the typical shift work rates:

Full-time and part-time employees

  • Midnight Sunday to Midnight Friday: 130% of the base hourly rate
  • Saturday: 150% of the base hourly rate
  • Sunday: 175% of the base hourly rate

Casual employees

  • Midnight Sunday to Midnight Friday: 155% of the base hourly rate (inclusive of casual loading)
  • Saturday: 175% of the base hourly rate (inclusive of casual loading)
  • Sunday: 200% of the base hourly rate (inclusive of casual loading)

If shift work falls on a public holiday, the "Penalty Rates" section of the Award applies.

Work breaks

The Retail Industry Award mandates specific rest and meal break entitlements for employees, with variations based on the length of their shift.

Rest breaks - employees are generally entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break after working for four to five hours. If an employee works seven hours or more, they are entitled to two 10-minute paid rest breaks, spaced throughout the workday. Shift workers receive paid rest breaks regardless of shift length.

Meal breaks - employees working more than five hours are entitled to an unpaid meal break of 30-60 minutes. Shifts of 10 hours or longer require two meal breaks of the same duration.

There are some clear guidelines about when breaks can occur and how they should be spaced. Employers must follow these rules:

  • Employees cannot be required to take any break (rest or meal) within one hour of starting or finishing their shift. This provides a reasonable buffer at the beginning and end of the workday.
  • Rest breaks and meal breaks are distinct entitlements and cannot be combined. This ensures employees receive both the short rests and a longer meal period as mandated by the Award.
  • It is prohibited for any employee to work more than five consecutive hours without receiving a meal break. This break is essential for rest and refueling during longer shifts.
  • Employees are generally entitled to a minimum 12-hour break between the end of one workday and the start of the next. With the employee's written agreement, this break can be reduced to a minimum of 10 hours. If an employee is required to start work without the proper break, they must be paid double-time until the break is provided.

Annual leave and leave loading

Employees are entitled to annual leave and personal/carer's leave according to the National Employment Standards (NES) outlined in the Fair Work Act 2009. Full-time employees receive four weeks of annual leave per year, along with 10 days of personal/carer's leave. Part-time employees accrue these entitlements on a pro-rata basis.

Shift workers who regularly work Sundays and public holidays in businesses operating 24/7 may be entitled to an additional week of annual leave.

Full-time and part-time employees also receive an annual leave loading. This is an additional payment calculated as follows:

  • Day workers - 17.5% of their typical earnings or the relevant weekend penalty rates, whichever amount is greater (but not both).
  • Shift workers - 17.5% of their typical earnings or their shift loading (which includes weekend penalty rates), whichever amount is greater (but not both).

Public holidays: what employers need to know

Full-time and part-time employees are generally entitled to take public holidays off without losing pay, provided they would have been scheduled to work on that day. However, employers can make a reasonable request for employees to work on a public holiday if necessary.

When employees do work on a public holiday, they must be paid an additional 225% of their base hourly rate (full-time and part-time) or 250% of their base hourly rate (casual employees). Alternatively, employers and employees can agree to substitute hours worked on a public holiday for either an equivalent amount of paid annual leave (to be used or paid out within 28 days) or payment at the employee's usual rate.

The General Retail Industry Award 2020 also allows for flexibility in observing public holidays. Employers and employees can mutually agree to substitute a full or partial day in place of a standard gazetted public holiday under the National Employment Standards (NES).

Annual shutdown

Employers have the right to require permanent employees to take annual leave during a temporary business closure, such as a Christmas closedown. However, the employer must provide at least four weeks' notice to the employees affected. It's important to note that employers cannot force employees to take leave without pay during a closedown unless an applicable Award or agreement permits it.

General Retail Industry Award 2020 Baker

Termination of employment and notice periods

Both employers and employees must observe specific notice periods when terminating employment. The required notice period increases based on the employee's length of continuous service, which includes authorised unpaid leave (such as unpaid parental leave). Periods of unauthorised absence or leave are not included in the calculation. Here's the standard breakdown of notice periods:

  • 1 year or less of service: 1 week notice
  • More than 1 year, up to 3 years of service: 2 weeks notice
  • More than 3 years, up to 5 years of service: 3 weeks notice
  • More than 5 years of service: 4 weeks notice

When an employer terminates an employee who is over 45 years old and has at least two years of continuous service, the above notice periods must be increased by one additional week.

If an employee over 18 years old fails to give the required notice, the employer may deduct up to one week's wages from their final pay, provided the deduction is considered reasonable. These deductions can only be made from wages owed, not from accumulated leave entitlements or other over-award payments.

Understanding deductions

In certain situations, employers may deduct money from an employee's final pay.

If an employee over 18 fails to provide the notice period required by the National Employment Standards (Fair Work Act 2009), the employer can deduct up to one week's wages from the employee's final pay. This deduction must be considered reasonable. Note that accrued entitlements like annual leave cannot be used for these deductions.

If an employee has taken annual leave before fully accruing the entitlement and then their employment ends, the employer can deduct the equivalent amount of pay for the un-accrued leave from their termination pay.

Employers should always exercise caution when making deductions from employee wages. It's essential to ensure compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009 and any relevant Award provisions. If you are unsure about your rights or obligations, seek advice from our Employer Assist Line.


Full-time and part-time employees are entitled to redundancy pay in accordance with the National Employment Standards (NES) outlined in the Fair Work Act 2009. This applies when an employee's position is genuinely made redundant, meaning their job is no longer required due to factors like operational changes, not due to the employee's performance.

Businesses with fewer than 15 employees are generally exempt from the obligation to pay redundancy. Additionally, certain other employment types, such as some casual employment arrangements might not qualify for redundancy pay.

The amount of redundancy pay an employee is entitled to depends on their length of continuous service with the employer.

Pay for higher duties

When an employee temporarily performs work at a classification level higher than their usual role, they are entitled to be paid at the corresponding higher rate. The General Retail Industry Award 2020 outlines specific rules for how this pay is calculated.

Short assignments of less than 2 hours - If an employee works at the higher classification for less than two hours, they are paid the higher rate only for the actual time spent performing those duties.

Longer assignments of 2 hours or more - If the higher duties assignment extends for two hours or more within a workday, the employee must be paid at the higher classification rate for the entire day.

Here are some practical examples that can provide clarity:

  • A sales assistant filling in as a supervisor for 90 minutes would only be paid the supervisor rate for those 90 minutes.
  • A cashier asked to perform some managerial tasks for three hours would be paid at the manager rate for their entire shift that day.


The General Retail Industry Award 2020 outlines several allowances that employers may need to pay employees under specific circumstances. It's important to be aware that allowance rates are updated regularly, so always refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman pay guide for the most current figures. Here's an overview of common allowances covered by the Award.

Meal Allowance - Employees are entitled to a meal allowance when working overtime. The specific rate and when it applies can be found in the Award.

Special Clothing Reimbursement - Employers must reimburse the cost of purchasing required work attire, such as protective wear, uniforms, or other specialized clothing.

Laundry Allowance - If employees must launder their own required special clothing, they are entitled to a laundry allowance.

Travelling Costs - When employees work at a location other than their usual workplace, they are entitled to reimbursement for additional travel costs and may be paid for travel time.  The use of personal vehicles for work purposes incurs a kilometer (KM) allowance.

Late/Early Transport - If an employee (non-shift worker) starts before 7 am or finishes after 10 pm and cannot arrange their usual or alternative transport, the employer must cover the cost of a taxi fare.

Transfer Costs - Employees permanently transferred to a different town must have moving expenses reimbursed for themselves and their family.

First Aid Allowance - Employees holding relevant first aid qualifications and designated as first aid officers are entitled to a first aid allowance.

Superannuation obligations

Employers have a legal obligation to make superannuation (also known as "super") contributions on behalf of eligible employees. Employers must make super contributions for any employee who earns $450 or more (before tax) within a calendar month. This threshold applies regardless of the employee's age or employment type (full-time, part-time, or casual).

The only exception to the $450 threshold is for employees under 18 years old. In this case, super contributions are only required if the employee works more than 30 hours per week.

The Superannuation Guarantee requires employers to contribute a percentage of the employee's ordinary time earnings into a complying superannuation fund.  This percentage changes over time – consult the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for the most up-to-date contribution rate.

Frequently asked questions

When do I need to pay overtime to retail employees?

Overtime applies in several situations under the General Retail Industry Award 2020. These include exceeding standard spread of hours, working beyond an agreed part-time schedule, working more than 9 hours in a day (with exceptions), and exceeding the average 38 hour workweek. Specific overtime rates apply, with higher rates for weekends, evenings, and public holidays.

What's the difference between casual and part-time employment in retail?

Casual employees don't have guaranteed hours, work irregular patterns, and receive a 25% loading on their base pay. Part-time employees have a predictable work schedule, fewer hours than full-time, and are entitled to benefits like annual leave and sick leave. The Award has rules about converting casuals to part-time under certain conditions.

Are breaks mandatory for retail workers? How long are they?

Yes! The General Retail Industry Award 2020 outlines required rest and meal breaks based on shift length. Generally, there's a 10-minute paid rest break for shifts over four hours and an unpaid 30-60 minute meal break for shifts over five hours. The Award covers timing and spacing of breaks.

Do I have to pay redundancy if I have a small retail business?

There's generally an exemption from paying redundancy for businesses with fewer than 15 employees. However, other exemptions may apply based on employment type. If your business needs to manage a redundancy, calculating correct entitlements is crucial.

What allowances are common in the retail industry?

The General Retail Industry Award 2020 includes provisions for meal allowances, clothing reimbursement, travel costs, first aid allowances, and more. Always check the most up-to-date Award and Fair Work Ombudsman guide for current rates and situations where allowances apply.

Can I make retail employees work on public holidays?

Yes, however, there are specific rules. Employees generally can't be forced to work on a public holiday unless it's considered reasonable. If they do work, they are entitled to a significantly higher pay rate (penalty rate), or alternative arrangements with the employee's agreement can be made under the Award.

My employee was late because of transport issues. Do I still have to pay them?

It depends. While employers generally aren't obligated to pay for time employees aren't working, the General Retail Industry Award 2020 may have specific provisions addressing unexpected events outside the employee's control. It's best to review the Award or seek advice for guidance in these situations.

When am I required to give notice if terminating a retail employee?

The General Retail Industry Award 2020 (and the National Employment Standards) outline minimum notice periods based on the employee's length of service. Employers must adhere to these periods, and notice requirements increase for older employees.

Do I have to pay superannuation for casual retail employees?

You generally must pay superannuation for all employees who earn over $450 (before tax) in a calendar month, regardless of their employment type. The only exception is for employees under 18 who work fewer than 30 hours per week.

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