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

BRC Director Helen Dickinson comments on the Low Pay Commission’s recommended increases to the National Minimum Wage

LONDON, 2015-2-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Responding to the Low Pay Commission’s recommended increases to the National Minimum Wage, BRC Director General Helen Dickinson said:

“The LPC has once again done a careful job of balancing protection for economic growth, jobs and productivity and the need to continue to help raise the incomes of the lowest paid. This highlights the importance of the independence of the LPC. Decisions about the rate of the minimum wage need to be based on sound evidence and not political expediency. Instead, political attention should be focused on supporting those who find themselves stuck in lower paying roles to progress to higher rates of pay. Over the coming year, the BRC will be working with the retail industry to identify the problems some people can face. We hope that by addressing these issues we can help improve productivity and move more people out of low pay faster than could be achieved by arbitrary tinkering with hourly pay.”

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Notes
1) Please find a link to the Low Pay Commission’s recent recommendations here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/low-pay-commission-recommends-3-increase-in-the-national-minimum-wage-to-670

For media enquiries please contact:
Laura Blumenthal, Communications Assistant on 0207 854 8924, laura.blumenthal@brc.org.uk

www.brc.org.uk