Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

PENALTY RATES APPEAL REJECTED

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA), the peak national organisation representing the interests of Australia’s 35,000 restaurateurs, caterers and café operators, is pleased the Federal Court has rejected the United Voice’s appeal under the Restaurant Industry Award.

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) CEO John Hart says the decision will provide labour cost relief with more hospitality businesses able to remain open or re-open on a Sunday.

“This is a win for operators, staff and consumers with restaurants and cafes now inclined to open their doors on a Sunday,” Mr Hart said.

United Voice lodged a Federal Court appeal of the Fair Work Commission Full Bench Decision in May this year that decided to reduce penalty rates under the Restaurant Industry Award.

United Voice claimed they were denied procedural fairness and sought a rehearing of the case.

Today, the Full Federal Court consisting of Justice Rares, Justice Bromberg and Justice Griffiths dismissed the United Voice application, ensuring the reduction of penalty rates under the Restaurant Industry Award will stand.

Mr Hart has welcomed the Federal Court Decision as vindicating the case for reducing penalty rates made by the industry.

“Labour costs remain a significant problem for hospitality employers and this decision confirms the Fair Work Commission Full Bench Decision to allow businesses to remain or re-open on a Sunday, is a step in the right direction” Mr Hart said.

R&CA Workplace Relations Director Greg Parkes says the Federal Court Decision will remove the uncertainty that this appeal caused for industry employers.

“The industry is made up of predominantly small businesses and the confirmation of Sunday penalty rates being reduced to 150 percent for casual employees at level two and below under the Restaurant Industry Award may provide a boost for employment opportunities across Australia,” said Mr Parkes.

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