Call to delay minimum wage rise

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 17-Mar-20

The Australian Industry Group has not made a recommendation on an increase in the minimum wage in its submission to the Fair Work Commission. It has cited the uncertain outlook for the economy by 1 July, when any rise in the minimum wage is slated to take effect. Ai Group has also urged a delay in any such increase until 15 July; it argues that the FWC should hold off on finalising its wage review until after the release of national accounts data on 3 July. Ai Group CEO Innes Willox has warned that every segment of the economy will be affected by the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Employer warning on wage reforms

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 2-Mar-20

ACTU secretary Sally McManus has criticised a proposal to allow workers to trade off penalty rates in return for higher basic wages. Fair Work Commission president Iain Ross has raised the prospect of extending ‘loaded rates’ in enterprise agreements to workers who are covered by industry awards. Employers’ groups have expressed support for the proposal, but some warn that it will not succeed if the FWC continues to adopt a ‘technical approach’ to approving enterprise agreements.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Wage theft: Employer calls to reform award system are a bare-faced con job

Original article by Martijn Boersma
The New Daily – Page: Online : 23-Feb-20

PwC has estimated that Australian workers are underpaid $1.35 billion each year, with 13 per cent of the workforce impacted. In certain sectors, the figure increases to 21 per cent of workers. Companies that have been found to have underpaid staff are tending to blame the award system for the problem, contending that it is overly complicated. Employers and employer groups say that the system needs to be simplified, but what they are really want is to reduce the role of governments and unions in wage determination.

CORPORATES
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, CALTEX AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX CTX, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

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