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From the Chief Executive - 7 July 2017

Submitted on Thursday, 6th July 2017

From the Chief Executive - 7 July 2017

This week marks the start of a new financial year, and for some employers this also marks the first phase of changes to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates.

For our hospitality, retail and pharmacy members, these changes came into effect on 1 July and reductions will be gradually implemented between now and 1 July 2019. The changes will mean that many businesses will now be able to take on more staff on these days and either open for the first time or stay open for longer.

Sunday penalty rates will be reduced gradually over three years, this first year most awards have been reduced from 200 per cent to 195 per cent, 175 to 170 per cent or 150 to 145 per cent. 

Many of our members in key services sectors, particularly retail and hospitality have been calling for these changes for some time. The Victorian Chamber has supported this change, decided by the Fair Work Commission, as it will create jobs, increase flexibility and provide new opportunities. If you are unsure how your business is affected by the changes, please contact our Workplace Relations team on (03) 8662 5222.

This week we held our first major Forum as part of the Victorian Chamber Summit series. The Energy forum provided some very interesting ideas for our policy and advocacy team to consider when preparing our election policies ahead of the 2018 State Election.

Energy is a hot topic at the moment in the media and political commentary and also the focus of our latest ‘Energy’-themed edition of Business Excellence magazine.

With another successful regional workshop in Traralgon this week also, our policy and advocacy team are travelling across the state to talk with members about their ideas and key priorities to enable them to grow their business.

At the main Summit event on 23 November at Parliament House, we will hear from Victorian Premier the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP and Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Matthew Guy MP. This busy schedule of events will enable the Victorian Chamber to develop a comprehensive and practical business agenda to take to all political parties ahead of the State Election.

For more information on the remaining events in the Summit program, visit

Mark Stone AM

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