Retailers respond to Annual Wage Review decision

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) say today’s decision by the Fair Work Commission to increase the modern award rates of pay by 3.75%, in addition to the scheduled 0.5% increase in Superannuation Guarantee Rate, means the increase in wages for business will be 4.25% from 1 July 2024.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said whilst it is important that wages keep pace with inflation, it’s a delicate balancing act to keep businesses running sustainably and today’s announcement will increase pressure on struggling retailers, particularly small businesses.  

“With discretionary spending slowing and operating costs rising across the board, wage increases without productivity improvements place businesses, particularly small businesses under significant pressure and can ultimately lead to price increases.

“Wage growth is important; however, we have consistently advocated that any increase must reflect the context of inflation moderating, the decline of labour productivity and the cost-of-doing business challenges,” Mr Zahra said.

“We are pleased to see consideration given to some of these areas in today’s decision.

The ARA will continue to participate in government decision-making processes to ensure that future policy decisions do not further exacerbate the challenges faced by retailers. 

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