Call to freeze wages for low-paid

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 14-Mar-19

Restaurant & Catering Australia CEO Juliana Payne has warned that the ACTU’s push to increase the minimum wage to 60 per cent of median earnings will result in job cuts. She says there should be no increase in the minimum wage in 2019 due to the above-inflation increases of recent years, and notes that the sector cannot pass on the cost of wage rises to customers. Meanwhile, the Australian Retailers ­Association supports a 1.8 per cent increase in the minimum wage, although a survey has found that about 50 per cent of its members favour leaving it unchanged in 2019.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Labor, ACTU hose down wage fears

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 8-Mar-19

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has committed to ensuring that the minimum wage is increased to become a living wage if Labor wins the federal election. Shorten and ACTU secretary Sally McManus have both expressed support for the Fair Work Commission continuing to have responsibility for setting a living wage, as well as the timeframe for transitioning from the minimum wage. Prime Minister Scott Morrison contends that economic growth rather than increased taxes is the best way to lift wages.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Shorten talks up living wage bid

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 7-Mar-19

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has warned that a significant increase in minimum wage would result in job losses, a reduction in hours of work for many people and business failures. He was responding to comments by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who has told a business summit that the minimum wage is too low and is no longer a living wage. ACTU secretary Sally McManus has again reiterated the need for a living wage.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Independent umpire pays the penalty

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 18 : 17-Nov-18

Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia CEO Peter Strong says changes to Sunday and public holiday penalty rates do not seem to have led to more jobs or more hours for existing workers. However, he claims that this is due to increases in the minimum wage that have essentially offset the impact of the cuts, rather than because businesses are retaining the savings that have resulted from the cuts. Meanwhile, Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says Labor’s proposed bill to prevent the Fair Work Commission from reducing the take-home pay of any worker is "obviously unfair to employers".

CORPORATES
COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, UNITED VOICE

Shorten vows he’ll restore Sunday penalties in 100 days

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 6 : 18-Jul-18

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has told the ACTU Congress that he will reverse weekend penalty rate cuts within his first 100 days in office if Labor wins the next election. He also committed to amending the Fair Work Act to prevent penalty rates from being "arbitrarily" reduced in the future. Labor will also legislate for casual staff to become permanent employees after a certain period of continuous employment.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU

Shorten, Swan sharpen class warfare attacks

Original article by Tom McIlroy, Michael Bailey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 2-Jul-18

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has committed to reversing weekend penalty rate cuts within 100 days of taking office if Labor wins the next election. Penalty rate cuts in sectors such as retailing took effect on 1 July. However, Council of Small Business Organisations CEO Peter Strong argues that many large retailers already have lower penalty rates under enterprise agreements that were negotiated by unions. Meanwhile, Labor’s national president Wayne Swan has defended Shorten’s stance on reversing company tax cuts, but concedes that he should not have announced the policy before consulting with the shadow cabinet.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, COUNCIL OF SMALL BUSINESS ORGANISATIONS OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, McDONALD’S AUSTRALIA LIMITED

ACTU steps up campaign on penalty rates

Original article by David Crowe
The Age – Page: 4 : 13-Jun-18

Polling undertaken on behalf of the ACTU show that a majority of voters in the marginal federal seats of Forde, Gilmore and Robertson would support a push to overturn the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rate cuts. The ACTU will launch a new campaign ahead of changes to the weekend penalty rates regime that take effect on 1 July and the five by-elections that will be held on 28 July. Employers argue that lower penalty rates allow them to trade on weekends.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GETUP LIMITED, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA, REACHTEL PTY LTD

Hike in wages a direct threat to jobs

Original article by John Slater
The Age – Page: 19 : 4-Jun-18

The minimum wage will increase by $A24.30 per week, which is significantly lower than the $A50 rise that had been advocated by the ACTU. The 3.5 per cent increase announced by the Fair Work Commission is still well above the inflation rate, and research by shadow assistant treasurer Andrew Leigh refutes the ACTU’s claim that a large increase in the minimum wage will prompt strong growth in jobs. The best way to lift the income of low-paid workers and to create jobs for the unemployed is to reduce the tax and regulatory burdens that deter businesses from hiring additional staff.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, THE MENZIES RESEARCH CENTRE LIMITED

Greens minimum wage cost comes in at $630m

Original article by Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 5 : 30-May-18

The Australian Greens have proposed permanently setting the minimum wage at 60 per cent of the median wage. Greens MP Adam Bandt says this would increase the minimum wage to around $A757 per week, compared with $A695 at present. However, the policy would cost employers an additional $A630m a year. The ACTU has also advocated pegging the minimum wage to average earnings, while Labor considered but ultimately rejected such a proposal due to its likely impact on jobs.

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

Minimum wage a tax on employers, says economist

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 17-May-18

The University of Melbourne’s Professor Roger Wilkins says it is "absurd" that an increase in the minimum wage could see people on low incomes move into a higher tax bracket. It is estimated that the marginal tax rate of about 193,000 workers will rise from 19 per cent to 32.5 per cent if the minimum wage is increased by 2.1 per cent. The minimum wage was increased by 3.3 per cent in 2017, and the Australian Industry Group has advocated a 1.8 per cent rise in 2018. The Fair Work Commission is expected to announce its decision shortly.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA)