„Like all major retailers, we paid a version of the penalties, but it didn`t match the higher penalties expected – this new agreement adapts our penalty structures under the General Retail Industry Award,“ she said. The new Officeworks agreement follows similar agreements with Coles, Woolworths, Bunnings and Kmart, which will increase annual wage costs by $10 million to $200 million per year by rein in penalties negotiated under previous agreements. Sarah Hunter, chief executive of Officeworks, said the new deal was a „headwind“ for Australia`s largest office supply distributors, but that negotiating a new agreement, which has given employees more security in terms of pay and conditions, has been a priority since taking the helm at the end of last year. Officeworks employees voted in favour of the new agreement by a clear vote: more than 80% of the approximately 6,200 employees of the subsidiaries took part in the vote and 97% of the supporters of the agreement. From the date of approval by the Fair Work Commission or November 4, 2019, depending on the subsequent date, the following new penalty interest will apply: the first salary increase will be paid during the first full pay period after July 1, 2019, in the event of a positive vote. The Officeworks Store Operations Agreement 2019 proposal, negotiated by SDA, ensures that you are better than the General Retail Industry Award. Without them, many of the hard-won conditions of the SDA Union, guaranteed by the SDA, could be lost. Retail and fast food workers union spokesman Josh Cullinan said that under the previous agreement, Officeworks paid no weekly or Saturday penalty interest and paid a 50 percent penalty interest on Sunday, half the 100 percent Penalty Rate on Sunday under the premium. The Sunday premium has gradually decreased over the past two years, falling to 65% this year and 50% from July 2020. „There will be significant cost increases – any major retailer that had an agreement with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) did not pay penalty interest for the week or Saturday and paid reduced fines on Sunday, and that cost will be considerable,“ he said. Under a new four-year operating contract, eligible branch employees receive a 2% pay increase for base rates above the premium in the first two years and a 3% increase in base rates for the past two years.