IR Award Simplification Working Group National Retail Association

The National Retail Association will bring crucial inside knowledge of the workings of the retail sector with its appointment as a primary member of the Morrison Government’s Award Simplification Working Group.

NRA Chief Executive Officer Dominique Lamb said the high number of prominent payroll failures in the sector in recent years demonstrated just how complex and difficult to navigate the Retail Award and others have become.

“After advising many employers on how to correctly calculate their staff entitlements and ensure everyone was properly paid, the NRA was perfectly positioned to advise the Federal Government on the most confusing aspects of the system,” Ms Lamb said.

“Over a long period of time, we have advocated that the current system is needlessly complicated and difficult to navigate,” she said.

“Since 2013, employers in the retail industry have had to contend with close to 14,000 different rates of pay depending on their employee’s status (permanent or casual), their age, their classification and the times at which the work is performed. This number easily doubles if you take into account shift workers, baking production employees, apprentices and those working under the supported wage system.

“As we have seen in recent years, the entire regime has been simply too confusing, even for large retailers with well-resourced expert HR divisions. What chance do small business owners have of understanding and complying with their responsibilities – even with the best of intentions?

“With the retail industry crippled as a result of COVID-19, it is critical that we look to the modern awards objective for common sense outcomes that support economic recovery and future employment growth.

“With a strong track record in IR, the NRA recognises the significant responsibility that comes with the appointment and looks forward to representing the views of the Retail Industry over coming months.”