Recently, the Fair Work Commission made two amendments within the Hair and Beauty Award in order to make certain provisions clearer and easier to understand. These changes impacted how the award displayed the weekend penalty rates for casual staff and the way in which pay rates for junior staff were described.

These changes should not have a direct impact on how you pay or roster staff but are largely intended to be aesthetic amendments to make these Award terms easier to read. However, we have outlined below what exactly these changes were.

Casual weekend penalty rates

Back in 2021, The Fair Work Commission announced a series of instalment increases to the weekend penalty rates for casual employees under the Hair and Beauty Award. These increases were to occur over a period of 2 years, spanning from January 2022 to December 2023, with several increases occurring during this period. The 6th and final increase took effect on the 31st December 2023. You can read more about these increases in our previous blog here.

As a result of these increases coming to a conclusion late last year, the current penalty rate tables contained within clause 23.2 and 22.5 of the Award were amended. This change removed any references to the previous rates that have now ceased and will now just reflect the 6th and final rate.

Prior to this amendment, the Award contained a detailed table which outlined all the relevant dates and rates for each increase from 2021-2023. To avoid any confusion, these outdated rates have been completely removed from the Award, and only the ongoing rate remains in this table.

Junior rate descriptions

Furthermore, the way in which junior rates are described within the Award was also amended to ensure these were as easy to understand as possible. These changes impacted clauses 17.2, B.3.2, B.3.3, B.4.1 and B.4.2 of the Award.

This amendment only impacted how these rates are displayed in the Award, there has been no alteration to the actual rates that junior staff are paid.

Prior to the change, junior descriptions included reference to both “under 16 years of age” and “16 years of age” pay rates. However, these two age groups actually received the exact same rates, often leading to some confusion as to why these were displayed separately in the Award.

As a result, in a bid to ensure the Award can be easily interpreted, these two junior rates were combined into one singular grouping of “under 17 years of age”. You can see this reflected below in the relevant tables:

Junior Rates (Prior to 31st December 2023)

Junior Rates (From 31st December 2023)

Again, the rates for under 17 year old employees have not changed, however, these should be easier for employers to interpret when reading the Award.

If you needed additional guidance on these changes, or had any questions on how these may impact your obligations as an employer, please reach out to the HR Connect team for further assistance.


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 HR Connect for advice.

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