This week will we see the final release of trade data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics before the Christmas and Boxing Day trading period.
It should give us a clearer indication of how consumer sentiment is tracking as we move into the most important month of the year for retail. An analysis released by the Commonwealth Bank late last week shows that real estate sales and private sector credit are both healthy and growing, and that “household sentiment remains in a healthy place and should support activity in the lead up to Christmas”.
I know that these results are not spread evenly across the country, nor even across particular sectors, but they do give us a snapshot of how we are tracking against previous years’ results. We’ll keep you posted as the news comes in.
It’s timely as we approach the Christmas trading period to again remind you of the services the NRA provides to members and the industry to help you meet your legal obligations and protect yourself and your business from risk. I am sure many of your Christmas parties are imminent and I would encourage you to make sure you have all your bases covered when it comes to employee safety.
The NRA’s industry law team is on hand every weekday to give you advice on your obligations to staff over the summer.
I remind you once again of our free Roster Coster, which helps you comply with award obligations and maximise efficiency of rostering.
Last week, the ABC broadcast what it claimed was covert video of 7-Eleven workers in Brisbane being forced to rebate in cash a proportion of their award wages. The company has responded by saying no illegal activity has been proven against the franchisee, but that they will respond strongly if illegal activity is proven.
Clearly, if workers are being forced to repay wages – effectively creating a below-award pay scale – that would be unacceptable to the vast majority of retailers who do the right thing by their clients. And while I can’t imagine any NRA members engaging in the kind of behaviour alleged by the ABC, I have said before that industrial relations is a difficult and complex area of law.
Up to 88% of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s prosecutions come from the retail and fast food industry.
If you have any concerns about your business and your legal obligations to staff, please give us a call, or simply use our free online self-audit tool. You work too hard to keep the doors open and the lights on to then fall foul of the industrial relations laws. The NRA is here not only to give you advice, but to give you peace of mind.
Have a great week.