Date: 24 March 2015
The National Retail Association (NRA) today welcomed an historic workplace deal in South Australia where penalty rates may be reduced or abolished for retailers in exchange for higher base pay and other improved conditions for retail workers.
NRA CEO Trevor Evans said the landmark deal could hopefully be replicated across other States.
“The agreement of the SDA (Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association) is encouraging since it recognises the trade-off between penalty rates and retail employment. We hope it can provide a blueprint for other States and will lead to greater employment across the entire sector.
“Many business owners have struggled to stay afloat with recent increases in labour costs, and many abandon trading on Sunday and public holidays altogether due to the impact of penalty rates. This agreement is a win-win as it reflects the needs of both business owners and their staff.
“This is an entirely voluntary, choice-driven agreement, allowing business and workers far greater flexibility to structure their workplace agreements the way they see fit.
“Businesses and their employees can now work together to achieve mutually-beneficial outcomes, while also allowing them to better service their customers,” he said.
The NRA is working with retailers and other service associations towards achieving similar outcomes right across the nation, to help re-invigorate the struggling retail sector.
Businesses seeking advice on how to take advantage of this opportunity, or to assess whether this option is right for their business, can contact the NRA.
The NRA is Australia’s largest and most diverse retail industry organisation, and has been representing the interests of the retail, fast food and broader service sector for almost 100 years.
Mr Evans is available for interview. Please contact the NRA’s media unit on 07 3240 0163 or to arrange a suitable time.