ARA defends penalty rates review

Risk of harming retail growth.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) continues to advocate for employment in the judicial review of the penalty rates decision.

ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said the ARA strongly opposes both United Voice and the SDA’s (Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees Association) application for judicial review of the penalty rates decision, as this would significantly stifle employment growth within the Australian retail industry.

“We are confident the unions’ application will be rejected by the Federal Court, as the Fair Work Commission found that high penalty rates impose numerous operational limitations for retailers,” Zimmerman said.

“The Full Bench accepted evidence that reducing penalty rates leads to increased trading hours on Sundays and public holidays, which provides further opportunities for employment growth within the sector.”

With the retail industry already operating in an unstable trading environment, the ARA believes a reversal of the penalty rates decision would further impede on retail growth and the nation’s economic sustainability.

“We are most certain that if the Penalty Rates Decision is reversed, the Australian retail industry will fall further behind our international competitors and will no longer be able to compete with global giants entering our shores,” he added.

The judicial review of the Penalty Rates Decision will be conducted by the Federal Court on 26, 27 and 28 September in Melbourne.

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