Retailers welcome changes to modern award plans

Posted by James Ferre on 28th August 2009

Retailers have welcomed the support of Deputy Prime Minister and Employment Minister Julia Gillard for a five year transition to higher penalty rates under the modern retail award.

“The Deputy Prime Minister’s announcement today will ease some of the pressure on retailers who are doing all they can to retain staff,” Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) CEO Margy Osmond suggested. “ANRA commends the Deputy Prime Minister for responding to employers’ concerns.”

Retailers had warned that a hike in penalty rates would cost thousands of jobs in the current economic circumstances.

“Pushing up penalty rates during an economic downturn is a recipe for job losses. One major retailer has already forecast a 1,000 job losses under the new award,” Mrs Osmond said. “The Deputy Prime Minister has made the sensible decision today that the higher penalty rates should not take effect on 1 January 2010 but be introduced over a five year transition period.”

“During this time, no employee will be disadvantaged. Penalty rates will not be reduced.”