SA retailers welcome much-needed changes to penalty rates

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) said retailers are relieved to hear that penalty rates in South Australia (SA) will be abolished on Saturdays and halved on Sundays in exchange for a higher base rate of pay and other improved conditions for employees.

ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said the ARA has been leading the penalty rates case for a long time and was open to working with the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) as part of its case to Fair Work to facilitate this agreement and broaden it across the country.

“It is very encouraging to see that the SDA has recognised that the current Sunday penalty rate is too high.

“The ARA welcomes any move that better aligns penalty rates with the modern retail industry. Changes like this allow businesses to respond to their customers needs, rather than having to try to fit their allocation of labour to an antiquated system.

“There is a real opportunity here to support the struggling retail sector and stimulate jobs growth. In order to create more employment opportunities for Australians, retail wages need to be flexible.

“We are hopeful that this agreement has a flow-on effect across Australia,” Mr Zimmerman said.



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