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

Bosses call for wages freeze, or jobs will go

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 16-Mar-20

Master Grocers Australia has urged the Fair Work Commission to freeze award pay rates in the retail sector for 12 months in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The MGA warns in its submission to the FWC’s annual review of the minimum wage that the impact of the coronavirus is likely to be felt for at least a year, so it is not an appropriate time to be increasing award wages. The MGA also contends that a small increase in the minimum wage may be justified, but not the three per cent rise in 2019. Most workers employed by MGA members are paid minimum award rates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, MASTER GROCERS’ AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Coles managers go back to time sheets

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 10 : 19-Feb-20

The Fair Work Ombudsman will investigate Coles Group following revelations that salaried managers of its supermarkets and liquor stores had not received their correct overtime payments for six years. Coles will provide affected employees with $15m in backpay, as well as $5m in interests and costs. It will also require staff to clock on and off at the start and end of their shifts; Gerard Dwyer of the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association says this policy has not been strictly enforced in the past. The Australian Retail Association contends that the majority of underpayments are due to the complexity of industry awards.

CORPORATES
COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION

‘Admission is not absolution’: FWO warns Woolies after $300m wage theft revelations

Original article by
The New Daily – Page: Online : 31-Oct-19

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has apologised after the retail giant became the latest company to be embroiled in the wage underpayment scandal. Woolworths has advised that it faces remediation costs of up to $300m after revealing that some 5,700 employees across its supermarkets and Metro stores have been underpaid, potentially since 2010. Woolworths will also review its non-grocery businesses, such as Big W and Dan Murphy’s. Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says the size of a company’s underpayment will be taken into consideration when the FWO considers penalties in the future.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, DAN MURPHY’S, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN

MJ Bale compensates underpaid staff, echoes call for award revamp

Original article by Sue Mitchell
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 26-Jul-19

Menswear retailer MJ Bale has become the latest prominent retailer to have been found to be underpaying its staff under the general retail industry award or under enterprise agreements. Company founder and CEO Matt Jensen says the underpayments were inadvertent and highlight the need for the retail award to be simplified, with his comments being echoed by Australian Retailers Association CEO Russell Zimmerman. MJ Bale has compensated the affected staff.

CORPORATES
MJ BALE, AUSTRALIAN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL

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

Wage rise will cost jobs: retailers

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 19-Mar-19

Master Grocers Australia has urged the Fair Work Commission to limit the 2019 increase in the minimum wage to 1.2 per cent, which equates to $8.60 a week. It warns that a large increase in the minimum wage would force independent retailers to cut staff numbers or allocate more shifts to junior employees. The ACTU is pushing for the minimum wage to be increased by $43 a week, while the Victorian and Queensland governments have called for it to be increased by $40.66 and $25 a week respectively.

CORPORATES
MASTER GROCERS’ AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, IGA, FOODWORKS SUPERMARKET GROUP LIMITED, CELLARBRATIONS, THE BOTTLE-O, DUNCAN’S LIQUOR

Woolies wins on penalty rates deal

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 8-Jan-19

The Fair Work Commission has approved a new four-year enterprise agreement for more than 100,000 employees of supermarkets group Woolworths. Amongst other things, the new pay deal will reinstate full penalty rates and increase casual loadings to 25 per cent. The deal has been welcomed by the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association, although the rival Retail & Fast Food Workers Union had opposed some aspects of the new agreement.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, WOOLWORTHS SUPERMARKETS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, McDONALD’S AUSTRALIA LIMITED

End to Godfreys deal paying $160 too little

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 7-Nov-18

The Fair Work Commission has terminated an enterprise agreement for employees of vacuum cleaner retailer Godfreys that has been in place since 2009. The non-union agreement included wage rates that were $160 per week lower than the award minimum, while casual loadings were also well below the award rate. Godfreys argued that employees could be paid more than the award rate when commissions are taken into account. The enterprise agreement had expired in 2012.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, GODFREYS GROUP LIMITED, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Woolworths strikes new EBA deal

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 21-Aug-18

The take-home pay of current Woolworths employees will not be affected by a new enterprise bargaining agreement that has been struck with the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association. Employees will receive the full penalty rates and casual loading rates of the retail industry award, although "loaded" base rates will be reduced. The new EBA also includes an employee bonus of up to $1,100 dollars. Retail & Fast Food Workers Union secretary Josh Cullinan claims that Woolworths employees are collectively owed about $1bn under the previous EBA.

CORPORATES
WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION