Retail Voice CEO Message: 7 February 2024

It’s been a big week of news in the retail space. We had a great result with DP World and the Maritime Union of Australia resolving their recent industrial action.

This resolution follows many weeks of advocacy by the ARA and is a huge relief for both the retail sector and Australian consumers, ensuring that the flow of goods can resume unimpeded – preventing the issue from escalating further.

Yesterday’s Reserve Bank of Australia decision to leave interest rates on hold at 4.35%, amid falling inflation – will also give retailers and Australian homeowners a boost in confidence. Whilst there are no guarantees, we are hopeful that more relief is in sight this year for consumers.

With Valentines Day on the horizon, the ARA has  in collaboration with Roy Morgan, with spending tipped to hit $465 million (down 4.1% or $20 million from 2023) as cost-of-living pressures continue to take their toll.

The past week has also been characterised by significant development in the industrial relations space.

The Closing Loopholes Bill Inquiry finalised last week, with the report handed down by the government–led Senate Committee making a number of recommendations that threaten to make a bad bill even worse.

We are urging the opposition and crossbenchers in both houses not to pass the legislation with these additional measures, as Closing Loopholes head back to Parliament this week.

We still have concerns about the proposed changes to casual work arrangements in the legislation and continue to advocate strongly on behalf of members.

Finally, this week the  to vary the General Retail Industry Award (GRIA) with the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

As our sector continues to meet changing consumer behaviour and workforce demands, our award should be more responsive and allow for the flexibility that employers need and employees want.

That is what we’re seeking to do.

As always, our membership team is here to help if you need any assistance, so don’t hesitate to reach out via email or on 1300 368 041.
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