Penalty rates decision upheld

Not good news for some.

The Federal Court’s decision to uphold the penalty rates ruling has not pleased everyone. While industry associations have welcomed the decision the SDA vows to fight on.

The Court has rejected a challenge by the SDA and United Voice that various determinations of the Fair Work Commission relating to penalty rates applying to five awards were invalid.

Both the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and the National Retail Association (NRA) were unanimous in their praise of the decision that it believes will create more job opportunities.

ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said the hope was that the ALP and other political parties who were seeking to overturn the decision were sensible enough to accept the umpire’s decision. “The next penalty rates reduction phase on July 1, 2018, will lessen the strain on Australian retailers, put the unemployed back into the workforce, and increase trading hours across the country,” he said.

According to NRA chief executive, Dominque Lamb, it was necessary to stop preventing retailers from adapting to a rapidly changing environment, and work towards fostering growth for one of the most valuable contributors to the economy. “Our members are out there devising new ways to do business, but they can only do so much without the support of equally forward-thinking decision makers,” she said.

However, SDA national secretary, Gerard Dwyer said the decision would not undermine the union’s resolve to continue with its efforts to restore penalty rates. “Once penalty rates are slashed for retail, hospitality and fast food workers, penalty rates for over four million Australians would be next under threat,” he said.

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