WHEN IS A CASUAL A REAL CASUAL?
In the last few weeks the status of a casual employee has been under the microscope. A Federal Court decision caused a ripple of fear throughout the retail industry, one of the biggest users of casual labour in the country. The Court found that an employee who was regularly and systematically employed and paid as a casual was found to be a permanent employee. The question was, had he already been paid his annual leave since he had received the 25% loading? Surely, he cannot ‘double dip’? This is the issue that now needs to be resolved. The matter is likely to be the subject of further legal scrutiny and is some time off being resolved. In the meantime, we urge members to employ casuals on an irregular basis and to include payment of the casual loading separately on the weekly pay slip as follows: “As a casual employee you are engaged as such and you receive an additional 25% of the ordinary hourly rate in payment for accrued annual and personal leave.”
THE PRESENCE OF KAUFLAND IN AUSTRALIA
The independent supermarket industry has been under increasing pressure over the last decade as giant supermarkets get bigger and new competitors come into Australia. We have seen Aldi, Costco and Amazon come from overseas and now we have Kaufland in South Australia who are now preparing to get a foothold in Victoria. They are looking to expand to 50 sites in the future. We are raising our objections, as independents we do not shy away from competition but we oppose the abuse of process that is being used in Victoria to establish these new hypermarkets. MGA is strongly opposing the method of entry by Kaufland and we will watch out for any further expansion.
NEW WOOLWORTHS AGREEMENT FACES SETBACK
Although Woolworths staff and the SDA have supported a new agreement it is being challenged by the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU). Before the new agreement can be implemented the RAFFWU wants to quash the previous Woolworths 2012 agreement claiming that a Woolworths employee has been underpaid. The new Agreement could be delayed by six months. It gives employees a one-off payment of $1100 in cash and gift cards, paid domestic violence leave, voluntary public holiday work, and creates an award-based structure with increased penalties.
CHRISTMAS TRADING 2018
The need to be across the trading hours over the Christmas period in your state or territory is fast approaching. MGA has now prepared the proposed trading hours for Christmas /New Year 2018/19. Please note that some states may change their arrangements between now and Christmas and if that happens we will make appropriate changes and advise members accordingly.
National: Public Holidays Christmas New Year 2018-2019
WA: WA Licensed Establishments Award Public Holidays Christmas New Year 2018-2019
WA: WA Shops and Warehouse Award Public Holidays Christmas New Year 2018-2019
UNIONS RALLY FOR CHANGE
At rallies around the country the ACTU is pressing for industry wide bargaining. This would mean each industry sector would have minimum rates and conditions. It has been suggested that there should be a move away from collective bargaining. The unions believe that because there are many smaller workplaces there is now a need for employees to band together across an occupational sector to win higher pay rises. Such a move would require massive changes to the Fair Work Act that has firm rules on workplace bargaining at present.
FREE ATO INFORMATION SESSIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Throughout November, the ATO will be visiting businesses in the Geelong area of Victoria, the Caloundra area of Queensland and the Alice Springs area of Northern Territory. These mobile business visits are part of their work to protect honest businesses from unfair competition by addressing black economy activities.
12 November – Geelong, VIC
21 November – Caloundra, QLD
26 November – Alice Springs, NT
We encourage you to take this opportunity to speak with ATO staff about issues that may concern you and your business. For more information, or to register for one of the sessions, please click here.
MOBILE PHONES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Many members have recently spoken to MGA about the use of mobile phones in the workplace and the increased role of social media amongst staff. MGA does have policies that can be used in stores to control the use of mobile phones during working hours. Additionally, we have a social media policy that members can introduce into their businesses. Members are also advised that policies are easy to obtain but you must make sure that staff are fully aware of them. It is advisable to reissue your policies at least every year. Your Equal Opportunity and Sexual harassment policy must be reinforced to staff every six months.
NEW CASUAL PENALTY RATES UNDER THE GENERAL RETAIL AWARDS 2010
Members are reminded that the new casual wage rates under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 will commence on 1 November 2018. The changes will affect casual wages for work performed on Saturdays and after 6pm during the week. please click here to access our new wage table.
LONG SERVICE CHANGES UNDER THE VICTORIAN LSL ACT 1992 (VIC)
Members are reminded of the upcoming changes to long service leave in Victoria from 1 November 2018. The most relevant clause in the changes is that employees will be able to access their leave after seven years of continuous service. Our information sheet is available by clicking here.
UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN AND EMPLOYMENT INCREASES
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that the unemployment rate of 5.2% is the lowest since 2012. Employment has increased by about 26,000 in September with an increase of full time employment increasing over 21,000 people. The strongest employment growth was in NSW and Victoria with these two states’ year-on-year growth above their 20 year averages.
ENERGY PRICE RENEGOTIATION OFFER
With energy costs continuing to rise MGA, along with Aussie NRG, have been hard at work to ensure you get the best results, advice and savings strategies in most states*. Please keep an eye out for the insert in the next magazine.
* VIC, NSW, QLD, TAS