SDA Junior Rates WIN!


The SDA recently made final submissions that Junior rates should not apply to workers on classifications 2-8 in the General Retail Industry Award as part of the 4 yearly review.

The Fair Work Commission handed down their decision yesterday morning (Thursday 25th November 2020) and have agreed that junior rates will no longer apply to workers at Level 4 and above.


This decision means that department managers, duty managers, service supervisors and tradespeople will be paid adult rates of pay regardless of their age.


The start date of this change is still to be determined and the SDA will update our members with any developments as soon as they come to hand.


The SDA’s submission was opposed by employers, who argued:


“Some junior employees - engaged at level two, three, four and above are engaged because of the pay rate”. i.e. that it is cheaper to have juniors working in the role.

The SDA countered this:


What really is occurring in this scenario is that the junior employee is favoured over the adult employee because of the lower rates, which as we say is discriminatory against the adult employee on that basis.  It's also discriminatory against the junior employee that they're doing the work of the adult employee and getting a lower rate.”


This decision is another important step in securing fair pay for ’so called’ junior employees and builds on the success that the SDA has had so far in getting the adult rate paid at 20 years of age as opposed to 21.


Young workers are an important part of the Australian workforce and the SDA will continue to fight for their rights and fair treatment at work.


UPDATE 22nd December 2020


The SDA is deeply disappointed by the Fair Work Commission's decision to delay the increase until 1st May 2021:


"We acknowledge that the retail industry has been particularly adversely impacted by the various public health restrictions which have been instituted to contain the pandemic. We are also conscious that there are other wage cost increases that will impact on retail businesses in February and March 2021. In all the circumstances, we have decided that the variation we propose to make will operate from 1 May 2021."



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