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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (258 Articles)

Employers who previously could not employ students for less than three hours are now rejoicing at Fair Work's latest decision
Employers who previously could not employ students for less than three hours are now rejoicing at Fair Work's latest decision

Fair Work backtracks on minimum shift retail laws

Fair Work Australia’s backflip on new mininum shift rules that came into force on January 1 has been welcomed by the peak retail industry associations.
On January 1 this year the Government extended minimum work shifts from 1.5 hours to three hours, forcing retailers to deny after-school work to thousands of students employed in the sector.

Retailer associations were in an uproar last year when Fair Work dismissed their appeals to prevent the introduction of minimum three-hour shifts.

In October, Australian Retailers Association (ARA) executive director Russell Zimmerman argued that besides disadvantaging students who wanted to gain a foothold in the industry, the minimum shifts would be detrimental to retailers who could not afford to employ people for three hours at a time.

The new decision will be effective from July 1, 2011. From then on, retailers will be able to employ students for a shorter duration between 3pm and 6.30pm on week days if the students are unavailable for longer or if the retailers themselves cannot offer longer shifts.

Zimmerman said the decision was long overdue after the ARA lodged its first application to overturn the rule in March last year, but called the situation “a win-win for retailers and students”.

“In an ARA survey of over 330 retailers in April 2010, 38 per cent of respondents said they would stop employing school students as a result of the limitations imposed by the three-hour minimum shift requirement,” Zimmerman said.

“Fair Work Australia has made a logical decision that will overturn limitations in the Modern Award that didn’t take into account the hours available between school finishing times and close of business,” he added.

National Retail Association (NRA) executive director Gary Black also lauded the decision and said it would open doors in the retail industry for young people.

“With one in two young people relying on the [retail] sector for a job, retailers shoulder the burden of transitioning our young people from school to work and providing them with critical employability skills for their later careers,” Black said.

“This decision will give employers the breathing space they need to continue creating jobs for young people, and we again congratulate Fair Work Australia for its decision,” he added.

Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) chief executive Ian Hadassin said the decision was positive for jewellers who wanted to teach students the tricks of the trade but he did not think the amendment would have widespread ramifications for the jewellery industry.

“Apart from training opportunities where students are being paid to be taught, I don’t think it will affect our industry that much because retailers will not get a return on investment for training students,” Hadassin said.

More reading:
Three hour retail shift battle continues
Jewellers unsure of employment standards

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Friday, 13 December, 2019 01:46pm
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