Full cuts to Sunday penalty rates have been delayed

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Cuts to Sunday penalty rates for workers in the hospitality, fast food, pharmacy and retail industries will be phased in over several years.

The Fair Work Commission today announced that only small cuts will be made to rates starting from next month. The rest will come between then and 2020.

Sunday rates will be cut by 5 percentage points from July 1 for hundreds of thousands of workers and then by further amounts each year until 2020.

Eventually, retail workers and those working at pharmacies will see their Sunday double time reduced to 150% of their hourly rate.

Sunday pay for full-time hospitality workers will be cut to 150% from 175%. However, casuals workers will still get 175%.

In the fast food industry, the rates will drop to 125% from 150% by 2020.

Unions say 700,000 workers, including some of the lowest paid who need the penalty loading to survive, are affected.

However, the Fair Work commission wanted transitional arrangements to mitigate the hardship caused by the cuts.

And retailers had wanted the cuts to be phased in over 12 months.