Retail association calls for staggered penalty rate changes

time sheet, pay, wageThe Australian Retailers Association (ARA) are suggesting the Fair Work Commission’s Sunday penalty rates changes should be implemented in two stages.

The ARA proposes the Sunday penalty rates reduction for permanent and casual employees be reduced to 175 per cent from July and the second stage of this transitional arrangement proposes Sunday penalty rates for permanent employees be reduced to 150 per cent from July next year.

The industry association said the phased approach would allow retailers to implement the benefits of the penalty rate reduction in terms of additional hours of work and employment opportunities in a reasonable manner.

“Based on the evidence presented to the commission during this industry-wide case, employees in the industry would experience no, or very marginal, negative impact, as a result of this phased approach,” said Russell Zimmerman, executive director, ARA.

Zimmerman said the ARA has examined the feedback received from retailers across the country and strongly believes ‘Take Home Pay Orders’ will be an unsustainable process moving forward.

“Modern Awards needs to be simple, steady and easy to implement,” he said.

“Take Home Pay Orders will add an unnecessary level of administrative complexity to this transition which will be superfluous.”

“Implementing a two-stage transitional pay arrangement for the reduction in Sunday penalty rates will allow retailers to roster additional staff on a Sunday, and give more employment opportunities to young workers seeking both extra hours and new employment over the weekend.

“With 725,000 people out of work, including 259,000 young people, the ARA believes the reduced penalty rates will make it easier for employers to hire staff.”

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