Two challenges to the penalty rates ruling brought by worker unions have now been heard in the Federal Court, with both cases heard together last week, in front of a full bench in Melbourne.
After joining other employer and business groups including the Australian Industry Group, the Australian Hotels Association and the NSW Business Chamber in representing members during the three-day appeal, we are confident the ruling will be upheld.
While employer groups including the NRA weren’t totally satisfied with the decision either, and would have preferred to see all Sunday penalty rates brought into line with Saturday’s, and a much shorter phase-in period, we have maintained the position we’ve taken since the beginning – that to overrule the decision of the independent umpire would set a dangerous precedent in Australia.
The Fair Work Commission devoted almost two years to examining all sides of the issue, including weighing up evidence from 143 witnesses and almost 6000 written submissions, before handing down what has really been a sensible compromise in February this year.
We’ve long argued that retailers needed urgent reforms to enable them to keep step with a rapidly changing retail landscape and modern society, and will continue calling for all parties to work together to ensure this industry, which is one of the most valuable contributors to the Australian economy, is sustainable.
A decision is expected in approximately six weeks; however, this may change given the profile of the case. The NRA will continue to monitor and will advise all members as soon as a decision is confirmed.
On a brighter note, I’ve also had the pleasure of unveiling our new-look awards event, with winners announced on September 27 at Sydney’s Doltone House.
It’s extraordinary to see so much incredibly innovative retailers out there, who are taking the incredible pace of change in their stride, and creating new revenue streams, and entirely new ways of doing business.
I’d like to take this moment to congratulate all our nominees, finalists, and of course our winners, outlined below.
People Champion: Hugo Boss
Store Manager: Scott Boettcher – Supercheap Auto
Multi Category: AG Co Op WINNER
Innovation Champion: Two Dogs Hardware
Franchisee of the Year: Narell Hall – Karnon Enterprises
Food & Beverage: Vinomofo
Social Responsibility Champion: Biome
Young Retailer of the Year: Chloe Harris – Myer
Newsagency of the Year: Nextra Chermside
Outstanding Contribution to the Industry: Peter Birtles – Super Retail Group
Have a great week.
Dominique Lamb, CEO.