The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has entered a submission to the Senate Education and Employment Committee on the Senate Penalty Rates Inquiry regarding Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBA).
The inquiry will focus on the effectiveness of the Better-Off Overall Test (BOOT) for EBAs and their direct relationship with penalty rates within both the retail and hospitality industries in Australia.
According to ARA Executive Director Russell Zimmerman, the current system for EBAs offers more flexibility for both employers and employees in the retail industry.
“The ARA’s submission opposes and clarifies the perceived inadequacies surrounding EBAs, as the current EBA model provides a higher base rate for retail employees,” Mr Zimmerman said.
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The ARA is appealing to the Fair Work Commission to re-evaluate what it sees as the unnecessary complications and demanding requirements for the BOOT.
“The unrealistic definitions of the BOOT exacerbate the constant challenges retailers face in the ever-changing retail environment, brought on by international competition and significant cost pressures in the sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.
The ARA says that 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 and improvements to the BOOT.