The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has warned its members about proposed Federal Government workplace laws that could lead to an increase in retail wages by 14 percent. An email sent out to 5,000 recipients urged retailers to take advantage of the last days of the Howard government’s WorkChoice laws before the new laws come into effect on July 1.
Part of the email reads: “Act now to avoid an increased wage bill. Can your business afford a 14 percent increase in wage bills? Lock in five-year workplace agreements NOW to avoid costly compliance with new legislation.”
Minister for Workplace Relations Julia Gillard curtailed the ARA’s push by announcing: “From January 1, 2010, the Government’s 10 legislated national employment standards and modern award wage rates will apply to all employees and will override inferior conditions in agreements.”
Unions claim retail staff could lose up to $100 a week if retailers locked them into WorkChoice contracts.