Overtime win

Retail pharmacy casual workers to receive overtime payments, after case brought by union

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) says the decision is a “win” for casual workers who “fully deserve” the same access to overtime rates as full and part-time workers.

“The win for casual workers came as part of the SDA’s efforts to protect and advance the terms and conditions contained in the Awards which cover the industries its members work in as part of the four-yearly review of modern awards which commenced in 2014, the SDA said in a statement.

SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said the decision was a valuable win for pharmacy staff.

“We’re very pleased to secure this important overtime pay win for pharmacy workers,” Mr Dwyer told AJP’s sister magazine Post Script.

“Over 1.3 million Australians work in retail with 50,400 retail pharmacy workers in NSW alone, and a high number of these employed as casuals.

“Retail pharmacy workers should not miss out on overtime rates simply because they are employed on a casual basis.

“The Union considered that deeply unfair and we’re pleased the Fair Work Commission has agreed with our position.

“While this is a positive first step for casual pharmacy workers in 2018, the larger battle to restore weekend penalty rates will only be achieved with the election of a Federal Labor Government, which has publicly committed to doing so if elected in 2019.”

As a result of the ruling, casual workers should receive overtime for hours worked in excess of 38 hours per week and the maximum number of hours per day. In the Retail and Pharmacy Awards, overtime will also apply to hours worked outside of the ordinary span of hours and rostering provisions. 

The Pharmacy Industry Award was amended following agreement with the Pharmacy Guild that the Award should be amended to clarify that casuals are entitled to overtime–it came into effect on 11 September 2017.

It was also determined that the casual loading must be paid in addition to the overtime rate.

The changes to casual’s overtime pay in the Retail, Fast Food and Hair and Beauty Awards became effective on 1 January 2018.

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