In addition to the 1.75% increase to all base rate of pay in the General Retail Industry Award that will come into effect on the first full pay period on or after 1 February 2021, penalty rates will increase for certain casual employees as of 1 March 2021.

Junior rates of pay are also being abolished in certain classifications in the Award from 1 May 2021.

The relevant changes are set out below.


Casual Employees – Monday to Friday evening work after 6pm

Casual employees who aren’t shiftworkers will have an increase to their Monday to Friday evening penalty rate as follows:

Date Penalty rate
Currently 145%
1 March 2021 onwards 150%


These rates include their casual loading.


Removal of junior pay rates in certain levels

In a separate decision, the Fair Work Commission has determined to amend the General Retail Industry Award so that junior rates will only apply to classification levels 1 to 3 going forward (junior rates will no longer apply to level 4 and beyond). These changes will be effective from the first full pay period on or after 1 May 2021.

These changes will mean that employees younger than 21 years of age will need to be paid the full adult rate of pay where they are classified in levels 4 to 8.


Download the Retail Industry Award Summary from Employment Innovations


About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.



The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.


This article was originally published on 20 January 2021; updates have been made following the advice of State & Federal government authorities. Last updated 20 January 2021.