Australian Retailers Association opposes SDA’s proposed increase to Saturday casual rates

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-May-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) opposes the SDA’s proposed increase to Saturday casual rates as it would impede on retail growth nationally.

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said any increase in Saturday casual rates will eliminate many of the benefits achieved through reducing Sunday penalty rates.

“We sought to reduce Sunday penalty rates to provide more employment opportunities for young workers seeking both additional hours and new employment on weekends,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“Increasing Saturday casual rates will not only increase the unemployment rate across Australia, it will further impede on national retail growth.”

The ARA are concerned that increasing Saturday casual rates will severely disadvantage the employment of casual workers across the retail sector.

“With the Fair Work Commission and Federal Court’s recent decisions on casual employment, redundancy and annual leave entitlements, the cost of engaging casual employees is already substantial, and acts as a disincentive to casual employment,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The ARA believe casual jobs are an important step into gaining long-term employment within the industry and their flexible hours are essential to Australian retailers.

“With the existing change-of-hours rules around part-time employees, there is a continual need for casual employees and their flexible working arrangements,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“The seven days’ notice required to change the rostered hours of part-time employees can be unrealistic for retailers, highlighting the necessity of casual employees.”

The ARA will be opposing this increase in Saturday casual rates on behalf of their members and the Australian retail industry.

“This increase will only bring further challenges and cost implications for Australian retailers who are already facing a difficult operating environment,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“We will continue to support our members in opposing this increase as many Australian retailers are already experiencing significant cost pressures throughout the sector.”

The ARA understand the Fair Work Commission will be releasing some further research on the history of Saturday casual rates, and are expecting some additional documents to be filed later on today.

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For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call: The ARA Media Line T: 0439 612 556, E: media@retail.org.au

About the Australian Retailers Association:

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the retail industry’s peak representative body representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. The ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

SOURCE: Australian Retailers Association