Office staff get to keep pandemic flex time

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 24-Dec-20

The Fair Work Commission has extended flexible working arrangements for employees who are covered by the clerks award until the end of June 2021. The ordinary hours of work for clerical employees while telecommuting were extended beyond traditional working hours earlier in 2020, in response to the coronavirus. The FWC has also introduced additional flexibilities with regard to the hours of work for clerical staff while working from home.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

IR reforms could save billions in back pay

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 2-Dec-20

The federal government’s industrial relations omnibus bill will be put before parliament before it rises for the year. The bill is expected to be discussed at a cabinet meeting on 2 December, along with a proposed legislative response to the Workpac v Rossato case. The Federal Court ruled that casual staff who work "regular and predictable" hours are entitled to benefits such as paid annual leave in addition to a casual loading. The government is believed to be considering reforms that would allow employers to use a casual worker’s 25 per cent loading to help offset any retrospective leave liability.

CORPORATES
FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Highest minimum wage rate to hurt recovery

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 27-Jul-20

Data from the OECD shows that Australia has the world’s highest minimum wage, at $12.60 per hour when measured in purchasing-power adjusted US dollars. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the data refutes arguments that the nation’s minimum wage is too low; he warns that its high level will ensure that younger people and those with limited skills will face longer periods of unemployment and underemployment. Willox adds that the minimum wage has increased by 8.5 per cent since 2017, with the Fair Work Commission approving a 1.75 per cent rise in June.

CORPORATES
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Virus slowdown: call to waive penalty rates

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 9-Jul-20

The Master Builders Association and the Housing Industry Association want the Fair Work Commission to make temporary changes to the construction industry award in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining & Energy Union opposes any move to vary the award so construction workers do not receive penalty rates for working outside their regular hours. Richard Crookes Constructions is among the building firms that have expressed support for temporary changes to the award.

CORPORATES
MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, HOUSING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION LIMITED, CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MARITIME, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, RICHARD CROOKES CONSTRUCTIONS PTY LTD

Fair Work backs penalty rates waiver

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 1-Jul-20

The Australian Services Union has failed in its bid to end flexible working arrangements for administrative employees who are covered by the clerks award. The ordinary hours of work for clerical employees while telecommuting were extended beyond traditional working hours in response to the coronavirus. The deal regarding overtime and penalty rates was initially slated to end on 30 June, but the full bench of the Fair Work Commission has agreed to extend it until the end of September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Wage rise an assault on small business

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 3 : 20-Jun-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has criticised the decision to increase the minimum wage at a time when the economy and the labour market have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox warns that the minimum wage rise of 1.75 per cent will affect hiring intentions at a time when unemployment and underemployment have increased sharply. Professor Mark Wooden is the only member of the Fair Work Commission’s wage panel to have pushed for the minimum wage to be frozen for 12 months.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Survivor firms can pay $30 rise: ACTU

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 11-Jun-20

The Fair Work Commission will shortly hand down its decision on a minimum wage increase. The ACTU is pushing for a four per cent increase in the minimum wage, which equates to $30 a week. Trevor Clarke of the ACTU has told the FWC that businesses which are still operating as the economy emerges from the pandemic have the capacity to absorb this increase, as the demise of rivals means they have less competition. Employer groups contend that the economy is yet to feel the full impact of the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

Zahra calls for overhaul of retail awards

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 15 : 25-May-20

Retail sector employees are covered by 122 separate industry awards, and Australian Retailers Association CEO says this should be reduced as part of the nation’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Zahra has also urged greater flexibility with regard to stores’ trading hours and penalty rates in the sector. He argues that the complexity of the awards system is contributing to the growing problem of wage underpayments in the retail sector. Zahra warns that retail sales could fall sharply when the JobKeeper scheme is phased out in September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION

Pandemic pain to hit wage rises

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-May-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson says the latest jobs data underlines the need for the minimum wage to remain unchanged in 2020. He warns that an increase in the minimum wage would jeopardise more jobs. Fair Work Commission president Ian Ross has flagged the possibility that a minimum wage rise could be delayed for companies that are receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy. However, the ACTU opposes any delay; it is pushing for a minimum wage rise of four per cent, or $30 a week.

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

ACTU wage bid ‘damaging’, puts recovery at risk

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 6-May-20

The ACTU has called for the minimum wage to be increased by four per cent in 2020, or $30 a week. Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has warned that the ACTU’s wage claim could jeopardise Australia’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry contends that it would increase the financial strain on businesses that are already battling during the crisis.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY