MEMBER SERVICES

ARA Employment Relations Support & Advice

To access these services, contact the ARA membership team
on email membership@retail.org.au or 1300 368 041 

Employment Relations Advisory Service

The ARA’s industrial relations advisory service is managed by market-leading industrial relations experts. Our team’s accessibility is unrivalled – members receive the support they need when they need it.

As ARA members experienced throughout the pandemic, when a crisis arrives and you need urgent help, the ability to immediately access a large team of industry experts and supporting resources is vital to navigating the crisis.

Compliance issues? Questions about legal obligations? ARA’s experienced retail-focused telephone consulting team are on call on our toll-free number to provide members with up-to-date advice on all employment matters.

  • Wage enquiries and workplace agreements
  • Performance management, disciplinary processes and termination of employment
  • Termination of employment and redundancy
  • Penalty rates and conditions of employment
  • Unfair dismissal claims
  • Discrimination and harassment
  • Award interpretation
  • Trading hours and public holidays
  • Transfer of business-applicable employment conditions and helpful tips
  • Discounted fees for additional services if required

In addition, ARA members gain access to monthly Employment Relations webinars and regular employment updates.

Employment Relations Alerts

To help ARA members navigate the everchanging industrial relations landscape, the ARA is working with the Fair Work Ombudsman to share detailed guidance on changes to workplace laws affecting employers and employees. Click on the links below for more information.

Closing Loopholes No.2 Legislation

NEW RULES FOR ENTRY PERMITS AND EXEMPTION CERTIFICATES

From 01 July 2024, pursuant to the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Act 2024, registered organisations can now apply to the FWC for an exemption certificate, waiving the 24-hour notice requirement for entry to investigate suspected underpayments.

This can only be done where the commission is satisfied there is a suspected underpayment of wages affecting a member of the registered organisation, and the commission reasonably believes that advance notice of entry would hinder an investigation into the underpayment.

READ MORE

17 June 2024

Fair Work Commission 

ANNUAL WAGE REVIEW DECISION 2023-24

The Fair Work Commission has handed down its decision on the 2023-24 Annual Wage Review. Resulting from the decision, the National Minimum Wage and the minimum wages under modern awards are set to increase by 3.75%.

This wage increase will take effect from the first full pay period on or after the 1 July 2024.

READ MORE

03 June 2024

General Retail Industry Award (GRIA)

THE CALCULATION OF PENALTY RATES WITHIN CLAUSE 16.6 (b)

The Fair Work Commission has varied the GRIA, favourably aligning with the ARA’s recommendations, by determining the penalty rate payable to an employee who starts work again without having had 12 hours off work is 200% of the employee’s minimum hourly rate.

This variation to clause 16.6 (b), with an operative date of 14 May 2024, removes complexity and uncertainty as to the calculation of the applicable penalty, providing much needed clarity for retailers.

READ MORE

08 May 2024

Fair Work Commission Rules 2024

PROCEDURAL RULES FOR THE COMMISSION

The Fair Work Commission Rules 2024 commenced on 27 March 2024, replacing the previous 2013 version. The rules outline the procedures and protocol that need to be followed by the Fair Work Commission when dealing with matters. The new rules differ from the previous rules in terms of useability, structure, and content.

READ MORE

08 April 2024

General Retail Industry Award (GRIA)

REMOVING AMBIGUITY IN CLAUSE 15.2 (c)

The Fair Work Commission handed down a decision replacing the term ‘establishment’ with ‘retailer’ in clause 15.2 (c) of the Award and inserting the phrase ‘on all days of the week’, aligning with recommendations put forth by the ARA in their application to vary the GRIA. These changes operate retrospectively from the 01 October 2020, enabling greater clarification of employer obligations and employee entitlements.

READ MORE

04 April 2024

Information Statement Mandate

CHANGES TO EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS WHEN ON-BOARDING STAFF

From December 2023, employers must provide employees engaged on a fixed term contract with a copy of the Fixed Term Contract Information Statement (FTCIS). This document provides new staff with an overview of the new legislative rules related to fixed term employment arrangements.

READ MORE

04 April 2024

Closing Loopholes Legislation

INTRODUCING A NEW DELEGATES RIGHT AWARD TERM

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Act 2023 requires that all modern awards contain a ‘delegates right term’ by 30 June 2024. These changes mean that a person identifiable as a workplace delegate under the FW Act has new workplace rights and protections.

READ MORE

04 April 2024

Closing Loopholes (No.2) Legislation

INTRODUCING A RIGHT TO DISCONNECT AWARD TERM

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No.2) Act 2024 mandates that all awards include a ‘right to disconnect term’ with an effective date of 26 August 2024 for medium to large businesses or, 26 August 2025 for small businesses. These changes enable employees to conditionally have the right to disconnect from work communications.

READ MORE

04 April 2024

Hair and Beauty Award

CHANGES TO JUNIORS AND CASUAL PENALTY RATES

The Fair Work Commission has made changes to the Hair and Beauty Industry Award to make it clearer. These changes affect junior age descriptions and casual penalty rates.
These changes took effect from the first pay period on or after 31 December 2023.

READ MORE

28 February 2024

Closing Loopholes Legislation

NEW DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS

From 15 December 2023, employers cannot discriminate by taking adverse action against employees because they have been subjected to family and domestic violence.

READ MORE

16 January 2024

Closing Loopholes Legislation

SMALL BUSINESS WAGE COMPLIANCE CODE

By 1 January 2025, a Voluntary Small Business Wage Compliance Code will be established before the changes to criminalise wage theft take effect. Compliance with this Code means a small business won’t be prosecuted if they underpay their employees.

READ MORE

16 January 2024

Employee Authorised Deductions

NEW RULES COMMENCED 

From 30 December 2023, new rules apply for employee authorised deductions from pay that are:
– either one-off or recurring
– or specific amounts or for amounts that change from time to time.
Awards and registered agreements can also allow for deductions from pay to be made in some circumstances.

READ MORE

16 January 2024

Closing Loopholes Legislation

INTENTIONAL WAGE THEFT 

From 1 January 2025, intentional underpayment of wages, allowances and superannuation will be criminalised. Safe harbour provisions apply for small business who adopt a voluntary compliance code.

READ MORE

18 December 2023

Closing Loopholes Legislation

LABOUR HIRE ARRANGEMENTS

From 15 December 2023, the FWC will be given new powers to make orders covering labour hire arrangements between businesses. Where a labour hire order is in place, businesses may face additional administration costs. 

READ MORE

18 December 2023

Closing Loopholes Legislation

UNION DELEGATES & RIGHT OF ENTRY 

From 15 December 2023, union delegates will gain new workplace rights and protections. Employers will need to be aware of this change to avoid penalties for refusing or unduly delaying the entry of union officials.

READ MORE

 

18 December 2023

Respect@Work changes to Sex Discrimination Act

POSITIVE DUTY

From 12 December 2023, employers have a positive duty to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, and the Australian Human Rights Commission has new powers to investigate and enforce compliance of employer obligations. 

READ MORE

12 December 2023

Secure Jobs Better Pay Legislation

FIXED TERM CONTRACTS

New workplace laws about fixed term contracts came into effect on Wednesday, 6 December 2023. Employers will also have to give employees they’re engaging on new fixed term contracts a Fixed Term Contract Information Statement.

READ MORE

05 December 2023

Secure Jobs Better Pay Legislation

BARGAINING AND AGREEMENT MAKING 

The Fair Work Commission has developed a range of tools, information and resources to help navigate changes to enterprise bargaining and agreement making that come into effect on Tuesday, 6 June 2023. 

READ MORE

 

23 March 2023

Secure Jobs Better Pay Legislation

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

New laws prohibiting sexual harassment in connection with work came in effect in March 2023. The changes mean that sexual harassment in connection with work is prohibited, that there are more protections against sexual harassment and that regulators have new powers in relation to sexual harassment protections.

READ MORE

23 March 2023

Secure Jobs Better Pay Legislation

PAY SECRECY

New workplace laws about pay secrecy came into effect in January 2023. The new laws give employees the right to share (or not share) information about their pay and ban pay secrecy terms in employment contracts and other workplace instruments.

READ MORE

12 January 2023

Family and Domestic Violence Leave

SCHEME COMMENCEMENT

New laws providing employees with 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave every 12 months come into effect from:

February 2023 (business with more than 15 employees) and 

August 2023 (for all other businesses)

READ MORE

12 January 2023

NOT AN ARA MEMBER YET?
Become a
Member Today