Kikki.K’s ‘better off overall’ deal rubber stamped by FWC

kikki.K-ION-Orchard-Singapore-215Kikki.K is the first retailer to secure a workplace deal factoring in reduced penalty rates after the Fair Work Commission (FWC) rubber stamped the stationery chain’s new enterprise agreement.

FWC said it had identified concerns with the terms of the agreement including it did not provide part time employees with overtime penalties for work in excess of their agreed or varied hours; appeared to exclude casual employees from parental leave, carer’s leave and compassionate leave; and did not afford part time employees the same protections as the industry award.

Reductions in Sunday or public holiday penalties will be mirrored in Kikki.K’s new EA and will take effect when the penalty rate cuts kick in. The FWC also outlined concern over “whether this term was explained to employees enabling genuine agreement to have occurred.”

In his conclusion, deputy president Geoff Bull said he had taken Kikki.K’s contention that its staff would be better off overall (BOOT) under the new agreement.

“I am satisfied that the beneficial terms afforded by the agreement, including the higher base rates of pay when accepting the undertaking to increase the base rates, together with the undertakings relating to the working hours of part time employees, the payment of the evening work penalty after 6pm as per the award and the limitation to the working of mutually agreed hours at ordinary rates outweigh the terms which may be considered detrimental to employees, such that current and prospective employees will be better off under the agreement,” he said.

The retailer said it was confident it had set remuneration for each classification to ensure employees are better off overall under the agreement when compared to the award, with higher base rates of pay flowing through to all other conditions in the agreement including late night rates, overtime rates, weekend penalties, leave payments.

“Despite the assertion made, no modelling of how the wage rates in the agreement was provided with the application,” said Bull.

“It is noted that the Saturday, Sunday and public holiday penalties under the agreement reflect those under the Award.”

Meanwhile, Kikki.K has received backlash via social media, with many taking to the stationery chain’s Facebook page to assert they won’t be shopping with the company over the changes.

In response, Kikki.K has issued the following statement:

When Kikki.k commenced work on its new EA in June 2016, it did so on the principle that its staff would enjoy better terms and conditions than they would under the Australian General Retail Industry Award. 

We are as committed to that principle today as we were then.

Recent announcements regarding penalty rates were made after the new EA had been submitted for approval. 

Kikki.k is currently considering the implications of the decision should it proceed.

We remain committed to ensuring our team members are better off overall.”

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