ARA: National Minimum Wage increase of 3.3% will stifle jobs growth within the retail sector

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) are extremely concerned, the National Minimum Wage increase of 3.3% announced today (June 6, 2017) by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will stifle jobs growth within the retail sector.

The FWC today (June 6, 2017) announced the National Minimum Wage will increase to $694.90 per week, or $18.29 per hour from 1 July 2017. This is an increase of $22.20 per week and an increase of 59 cents per hour.

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said Australian retailers are already facing a complex operating environment and this increase will be extremely harmful to the growth and stability of the Australian retail industry.

“Today’s Minimum Wage increase of 3.3% will suppress the benefits achieved by the penalty rates reduction, negatively affecting increased trading hours for retailers and further delaying employment growth across the sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.

“With the inherent weakness in today’s economic climate, along with tax increases about to hit consumers, this upsetting increase will strongly impede on employment growth within the industry.”

Given economic uncertainties, historically low inflation along with rising costs for retailers, the ARA believe there will be real concerns for retail growth across Australia.

The ARA believes their proposed Minimum Wage increase of 1.2% would have the best way to preserve employment within the retail sector and are disappointed that the Fair Work Commission did not take into account the weak economic trading conditions when making their decision.

“Our members are constantly experiencing significant cost pressures through international competition and advances in technology therefore we believe this wage increase is unfavourable for all businesses operating in the retail sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.

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For interview opportunities with ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman call the ARA Media Line on 0439 612 556, or emailmedia@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

ARA Executive Director: retailers expecting to ramp up employment via quick transition to more sustainable penalty rates

Melbourne, Australia, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — While the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) welcomes the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) Penalty Rates Reduction decision, retail employers will be disappointed by the excessive length of the transitional arrangements handed down today (June 5, 2017).

ARA Executive Director, Russell Zimmerman said retailers were expecting to ramp up employment via a quick transition to more sustainable penalty rates, though the announced arrangements will only hinder the immediate benefit to employment and growth within the sector.

“The Commission found that a reduction in penalty rates will allow retailers to extend staff working hours and increase employment across the board, therefore these sluggish arrangements will unnecessarily delay the creation of new retail jobs,”

“Retailers are already operating in a tough environment, and the ARA will be working with its members and legal providers to strongly defend the decision to ensure the implementation of Public Holiday rates from 1 July 2017,” Mr Zimmerman said.

The ARA will further challenge any attempt by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) to defer the implementation of the Sunday penalty rates decision.

“The ARA will strongly oppose any application from the SDA for judicial review of the Sunday penalty rates decision, as this will only serve to prolong the benefits for retail employers, employees and overall industry growth.” Mr Zimmerman stated.

The ARA believes the Commission’s decision will be upheld in the Federal Court as the Union’s judicial review will risk all the benefits for Australian retailers, the unemployed and the broader Australian economy.

General Retail Industry Award 2010 Transitional Arrangements;

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To arrange an interview with Mr Zimmerman, please call the ARA media team on 0439 612 556 or email 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