ARA PROPOSES A TWO-STAGE TRANSITION FOR SUNDAY PENALTY RATES REDUCTION

Wednesday 15 March 2017:The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) supports a two-stage transitional pay arrangement of the Sunday penalty rate reduction. This phased approach will 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.

The ARA proposes the Sunday penalty rates reduction for permanent and casual employees be reduced to 175% from 1 July 2017. The second stage of this transitional arrangement proposes Sunday penalty rates for permanent employees be reduced to 150% from 1 July 2018.

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, said phasing in these changes will assist retailers across the industry in creating more jobs, offering additional work hours and increasing levels of service to the community.

“After speaking with our members and legal providers, we propose the Sunday penalty rate reduction be phased through a two-stage pay arrangement,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“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.”

The ARA has carefully examined the feedback received from retailers across the country and strongly believe Take Home Pay Orders will be an unsustainable process moving forward.

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

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

The retail industry supports a phased penalty rate reduction process provided this does not impact negatively on retailers’ capacity to increase employment rates across Australia and sustain growth in the retail industry.

“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,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“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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For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmermancall the ARA Media Line on 0439 612 556, or email media@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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