Retail Voice CEO Message: 20 July 2022

With Covid and flu infections on the rise again, we’re pleased to see the Federal Government heed the call of the ARA and others to reinstate the pandemic leave disaster payment, which will come as a welcome relief for workers left out of pocket when they isolate.

The next couple of months will be challenging with daily caseloads set to remain high, so it’s appropriate this safety net remains in place for now to help reduce the risk of infected workers being at work.

When the current peak stabilises, we’d like to see shorter isolation periods considered by our health experts (in the United States it’s five days). This would help improve the labour shortages that are crippling the economy and would be a welcome step as part of our transition towards living with Covid.

The phase-out of single-use plastics continues to ramp up, and while it’s important to see state and territory governments driving this positive change, it does leave us with a complex timeline, with different products being banned at different points, depending on where you are in the country.

The ARA has developed a new member resource at retail.org.au/plastics, which provides an overview of the changes that are coming. We’re also calling for the Federal Government to help facilitate national consistency and bring together industry, community and the states and territories to land on a mutually agreed national timeline for environmental challenges such as the phase-out of single-use plastics.

For retailers that operate in multiple jurisdictions, we know that understanding these different changes is a headache you could do without.

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