On Enterprise Bargaining.

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has made a submission to the Senate Education and Employment Committee on the Penalty Rates Inquiry regarding Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA). The inquiry focus is on the operation, application and effectiveness of the Better-Off Overall Test (BOOT) for EBAs and their relationship with penalty rates across retail and hospitality industries.

ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said the current state of EBA’s provides more flexibility for employers and employees working within the retail sector. “The ARA’s submission opposes and clarifies the perceived inadequacies surrounding EBA’s as the current model provides a higher base rate for retail employees,” he said.

As retailers continue to face a difficult trading environment the ARA believes the Fair Work Commission need to re-evaluate the unnecessary complications and demanding requirements for the BOOT. “The unrealistic definitions to the BOOT, exacerbates the constant challenges retailers face in the ever-changing retail environment, brought on by international competition and significant cost pressures in the sector.”

With retailers across the country already facing tough trading conditions and an appeal to the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rates decision, the ARA strongly supports a fairer and more flexible EBA system to improve the BOOT, Zimmerman said.