Monday 4 December, 2017: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) are completely dumbfounded with Labor’s insidious act in disregarding one of the most progressive decisions the retail industry, first ruled by the Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and upheld by five judges of the Federal Court in the Senate today.

Both the ALP and the Greens have tampered with the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill 2017, hastily adding two amendments which will severely stifle employment growth and smother small businesses across the country.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said Labor’s underhanded actions have made a mockery of a fair-minded organisation, the Australian Justice system and taxpayers money.

“Labor have undermined the integrity of the Fair Work Commission, an independent umpire, established by the Labor Government in 2009, to ensure employers across all industries in Australia are treated fairly,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The ALP have also disregarded Australia’s court system, as the Federal Court agreed with the Commission’s decision to reduce Sunday penalty rates to be in-line with Saturday penalty rates, as this reduction would allow retailers to open their stores for longer, and enable retailers the opportunity to employ more staff on weekends.”

With the Labor Party overlooking the judiciary, and disobeying their own self-governing establishment, the ARA are confused as to why Labor formed the Fair Work Commission at all, as it has been costing Australians millions of dollars every year.

“Like the Australian Justice system, the Fair Work Commission was established to serve the best interest of the Australian public, and Labor’s rushed amendments to the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2017 is not only hypocritical, it will have detrimental effects to small and large businesses across Australia,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The ARA thank the Government on behalf of employees and employers in the retail industry, for supporting small businesses and requesting this amended Bill be heavily examined.”

The ARA believe a moderate reduction, not removal of penalty rates will increase youth employment within the retail industry, and enable retailers to remain competitive in the 24/7 global marketplace.

“With many retailers across the board unable to open their doors on Sundays, the reduction of penalty rates will enable retailers to look at employing more staff on a Sundays as it is their busiest trading day of the week,” Mr Zimmerman said.


For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman, call the ARA Media team on 0439 612 556 or email

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 or call 1300 368 041.

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