Press Releases 2017

Deputy CEO warns Fair Work award changes will ‘slip under radar’ during Christmas period

New overtime rates for casual workers announced for retail and hospitality workers, effective 1 January 2018, to harm small businesses


SYDNEY, 15 December 2017: As the Fair Work Commission announces new award rates for casual workers in retail and hospitality industries, Australian employee management software provider Deputy has warned of widespread and avoidable award breaches as rates are rolled out over the busy holiday period.

As of January 1 2018, businesses employing casual and part-time workers across the retail, hospitality and fast food industries will be required to pay overtime for employees working more than 38 hours per week or 10.5 – 12 hours per day, depending on industry. Currently casual workers are not eligible for overtime.

The changes to the award rates could affect over 1 million [1,014,640] retail and hospitality workers employed on a casual basis.

The announcement comes at the busiest period of the year for retail and hospitality, a concern for those who will be juggling the added pressure of business management and keeping customers happy.

“Changes to award rates have a major impact on businesses that rely on casual workers. An announcement this big, impacting so many employees, this close to Christmas leaves businesses vulnerable to compliance failure in the new year,” said Ashik Ahmed, CEO of Deputy.

“The Fair Work Commission’s decision to make rapid changes to award rates provides businesses with little time to assess and adapt their team requirements. Employers may unknowingly miscalculate wages, and employees will lose out on award rates.”

CFO of Chatime tea and Deputy customer, Lawrence Chen, said: “We oversee 75 of our popular iced tea breweries from head office, 60 of these are franchise stores.

“Keeping on top of management teams and filtering down changes to award rates for over 500 employees is a huge, labour intensive task. We use technology like Deputy to automate many of these tasks, and ensure we’re always up to date on the awards, no matter what changes take place.

“This announcement from Fair Work at one of the busiest time of years for the hospitality and fast food industries is hugely problematic. Businesses that don’t have systems in place to automatically apply the changes will have to work over the holidays to make sure they are prepared come January 1.”

“There is an urgent need to close the disconnect between industry regulators, employers and their employees so that inadvertent wage miscalculations are eradicated” Ahmed said. “At Deputy, we’ve seen technology transform businesses by alleviating the pressures associated with constantly shifting award rates,”

As of January 1 2018 Deputy products will be updated to factor in the new Fair Work awards for casual and part time employees.

Ashik Ahmed is available for interview today for commentary around the potential impact of the recent Fair Work Commission announcement on Australia’s casual workforce and businesses reliant on casual workers.

Media contact:

Caitlin Wynn

0450 668 305


About Deputy

Deputy is the ultimate employee management tool, simplifying scheduling, timesheets, tasks and workplace communication, helping businesses transform operations and empower employees to work the way they want.

Deputy connects businesses and employees seamlessly through technology to make work easier. Deputy is used by more than 300,000 people and 50,000 workplaces across 70+ countries each day.

Deputy was founded in Australia  in 2008 after Steve Shelley asked Ashik Ahmed to develop as a solution to his own business problems. The software soon became Steve’s “deputy” in the day-to-day running of the business, and together, Ashik and Steve set out to expand the software’s capabilities for other businesses. Today, Deputy has 140 employees across global offices in Australia, the UK, US and the Philippines. For more information, visit, or find us on Twitter, Facebook, the App Store or Google Play.

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