Battle builds over penalty rates for hair stylists, beauticians

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 26-Aug-19

Unions will oppose a bid by employers in the hair and beauty industry to reduce Sunday and public holiday penalty rates. The push, which would reduce wages in the sector by up to $91 a week, has been described as "disgraceful" by Hair Stylists Australia spokeswoman Vanessa Watt; she says hairdressers already receive modest pay and are often victims of wage theft. However, Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox contends that the sector has many similarities to the retail and pharmacy industries, whose penalty rates were cut in 2017.

CORPORATES
HAIR STYLISTS AUSTRALIA, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN WORKERS’ UNION-FEDERATION OF INDUSTRIAL, MANUFACTURING AND ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES

Union push to increase casual pay in hospitality sector

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 29-Jul-19

United Voice wants the Fair Work Commission to rule that casual employees in the hospitality industry are entitled to a 25 per cent loading in addition to overtime penalty rates. NSW Business Chamber CEO Stephen Cartwright argues that employers cannot afford such a cost increase. He adds that while the Chamber agrees that casuals should be paid overtime at the same rate as permanent employees. However, it is of the view that as casual loading is meant to compensate for lack of employee entitlements such as annual leave, it should not apply during overtime as permanent employees do not accrue such entitlements while doing overtime work.

CORPORATES
UNITED VOICE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NSW BUSINESS CHAMBER LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION

Minimum wage world’s highest

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Weekend Australian – Page: 2 : 13-Jul-19

Australia’s minimum wage was increased by 3.5 per cent in 2018, with the increase giving Australia the highest minimum wage in the world when adjusted for inflation and purchasing power. This is according to recent OECD figures, which do not take into account the latest three per cent increase in the minimum wage. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the OECD figures rebut union claims that the minimum wage system needs to be overhauled, although an ACTU spokesperson contends that it is a "basic principle of fairness" that no one who works full-time should be living in poverty.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

ACTU goes after Qantas over bonus

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 24-Jun-19

The ACTU will lodge legal action against Qantas in the Fair Work Commission on 24 June over its payment of employee bonuses. The ACTU will allege that the airline is discriminating against employees on collective agreements, in that it will only pay a $2,000 bonus once employees sign on to Qantas-endorsed enterprise agreements; the ACTU notes that some collective agreements do not expire until late 2020. Former Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford noted at its 2018 AGM that the same conditions applied to its last three bonuses.

CORPORATES
ACTU, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Minimum wage will rise 3 per cent to $740.80 a week on Fair Work ruling

Original article by Stephanie Chalmers
abc.net au – Page: Online : 31-May-19

The ACTU has described the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage by three per cent as a "win" for low-paid workers. The minimum wage will be increased to $19.49 an hour, or $740.80 per week, but the peak union body says it is still not a living wage. The ACTU had sought a six per cent increase in the minimum wage, after it rose by 3.5 per cent in 2018. The latest Wage Price Index data shows that annual growth in wages is currently about 2.3 per cent.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

FWC queries unions’ living wage

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 16-May-19

The Fair Work Commission heard the final day of evidence in its review of the minimum wage on 15 May. The ACTU wants the minimum wage to be increased to 60 per cent of median earnings over two years, in order to lift all workers out of poverty. FWC President Iain Ross warned that doing so could result in pay increases for all workers on the minimum wage, rather than just those living below the poverty line. He also said the tax and transfer system could be a more efficient way to address the issue of poverty than an increase in the minimum wage. The FWC’s decision on the minimum wage is expected to be announced by the end of May.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Employers fear payroll nightmare

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 15-May-19

The Fair Work Commission is expected to make a ruling on the minimum wage before the end of May. However, employers’ groups have warned of the potential payroll complications if Labor wins the federal election and pushes ahead with plans to make a new wage submission immediately upon taking office. Any increase in the minimum wage will take effect from 1 July, and Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has expressed concern that employers will not have enough time to apply the new pay rates if Labor seeks to make a new submission to the FWC.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, ACTU

Labor’s penalty rates a triple hit for retailers

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 29-Apr-19

Labor will seek to reverse cuts to Sunday penalty rates within 100 days if it wins the federal election. The Australian Retailers Association has estimated that this would see wages rise by as much as 21 per cent for weekend workers. Cuts to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates are being phased in over four years by the Fair Work Commission to ease the impact on employees, but shadow Employment Minister Brendan O’Connor says it will reverse the cuts "in a single hit". Employers’ groups have called for greater consultation over Labor’s plans, while employment law professor Andrew Stewart has cautioned Labor about trying to rush legislation on the issue.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Fightback on penalty rates

Original article by Ben Packham, Dennis Shanahan, Alice Workman
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 22-Apr-19

Labor plans to reconvene federal parliament before 30 June if it wins the election, in order to capitalise on a Senate that may be more amenable to its proposed industrial relations reforms. Amongst other things, Labor intends to reverse cuts to penalty rates within its first 100 days in office. However, Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox has written to Senate crossbenchers warning that Labor’s workplace reforms would require more extensive consultation than would be possible by the end of June.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN GREENS, CENTRE ALLIANCE

Minimum wage is living wage by UK standard

Original article by David A Harvey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 5-Apr-19

The federal government has used its submission to the Fair Work Commission to argue that the minimum wage is now about 61 per cent of the median wage when the earnings of both full-time and part-time employees are taken into account. This is the benchmark used in the UK to determine that country’s living wage. In contrast, the ACTU wants a living wage to be based on the median earnings of full-time workers. The ACTU is seeking a six per cent increase in the minimum wage in 2018 and a further rise of 5.5 per cent in 2020.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GREAT BRITAIN. LOW PAY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT