Employment wrap, 01/01/10

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Employment wrap, 01/01/10

Retailers reduce award modernisation costs; Manufacturing looking brighter despite fall in employment; Conference to challenge our thinking on leadership.

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Retailers reduce award modernisation costs; Manufacturing looking brighter despite fall in employment; Conference to challenge our thinking on leadership.
 
Retailers reduce award modernisation costs
 
Fair Work Australia (FWA) last Friday decided applications pursued by the National Retail Association (NRA) with the object of reducing the labour cost burden imposed on retailers and fast food operators by the proposed modern awards.
 
In commenting on the FWA decision, NRA executive director Gary Black said:
‘While the decision falls short of delivering on the promise that the modern award process would not result in labour cost increases, we accept that the retail and fast food modern awards have been significantly improved by these decisions and employers will face a reduced labour cost burden as a result.’
Mr Black said:
‘It was important that employers acknowledge the flexibility in the system and the willingness of the Tribunal to accept that prior award modernisation decisions in the retail and fast food sectors were deficient in some areas and required correction and improvement.’
Mr Black indicated that:
‘The changes made to the modern awards by FWA will contribute to significant reductions in labour costs for employers. When these reductions are applied in conjunction with established phasing in arrangements, there are now better prospects that employers will be able to avoid curtailing hours of operation and reducing hours of employment. Everyone will be better off as a result of these changes.’
Summary of decisions
 
General Retail Industry Award 2010 definitions and classifications: The Commission agreed with NRA’s application to reclassify a Shop Manager to level 6 and an Assistant Shop Manager from Level 6 to Level 4. The AIRC concurred that the Level 8 rate is not appropriate except in the case of very senior managers.
 
Part-time employment: The Commission agreed to amend the part-time provisions so that these employees may agree to work additional hours without the payment of overtime unless their hours exceed 38 in the week.
 
Hours of work: The Commission agreed to extend ordinary hours for businesses that trade beyond 9 pm Monday to Friday or 6 pm Saturdays and Sundays. For these businesses, ordinary hours will be able to be worked until 11 pm.
 
Sunday penalties: Casual employees will now receive the same rate for working on a Sunday as a permanent employee. This equates to 200% of the permanent rate instead of 225%.
 
Laundry allowance: The Commission granted the NRA application to include a per shift laundry allowance for part-time and casual employees. This means that instead of paying $6.25 per garment per week to all employees regardless of the number of shifts, part-time and casual employees will be paid $1.25 per shift instead.
 
Fast Food Industry Award 2010 laundry allowance: The Commission agreed to amend the laundry allowance from $4.53 per garment per week to:
  • for a full-time employee — $6.25 per week
  • for a part-time or casual employee — $1.25 per shift.
  • part-time provisions — the Commission agreed to amend the part-time provisions so that these employees may agree to work additional hours without the payment of overtime unless their hours exceed 38 in the week.

Overtime and penalty rates

Evening penalty: The Commission has agreed to remove the 10% loading for all hours worked Monday to Friday from 6 pm until midnight. A 10% loading will now apply for hours after 9 pm and a 15% loading to be payable after midnight instead.
 
Sunday penalty: The Commission has agreed to change the loading of 75% for full-time and part-time employees to 50% on a Sunday.
 
 
Manufacturing looking brighter despite fall in employment
 
The manufacturing sector opened the year in positive territory with the latest seasonally adjusted Australian Industry Group–PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®) rising 2.5 points to 51.0 in January (readings above 50.0 indicate a rise in activity).
 
Manufacturing activity expanded in the month on the back of a lift in new orders and exports.
 
The sector saw renewed demand in the housing and resources sectors, particularly for companies involved in construction materials, transport equipment, and petroleum and coal products. Overall activity expanded despite the first contraction in employment in three months.
 
AiGroup chief executive, Heather Ridout, said:
‘While manufacturing made a relatively encouraging start to the year, the performance of key components remained patchy, with a rise in new orders broadly offset by a heavy run down in stocks and a decline in employment.
 
With output in the sector having fallen by 7.8% in the year to the September quarter 2009, and with around 80,000 jobs lost from the sector in 2009, a sustained upswing in manufacturing activity is needed to fill the large chunk taken out of the sector by the global economic downturn,’ Mrs Ridout said.’
 
Conference to challenge our thinking on leadership
 
As leaders ponder whether ‘business as usual’ is acceptable, an upcoming conference aims to challenge our thinking on leadership, organisations and ourselves.
 
How do we transform our organisations to give rise to more conscious leadership?
 
Leading academics, consultants, and presenters from corporate, government, and the not-for-profit sectors will present case studies, research and emerging perspectives that link spirituality, leadership and management with organisational performance.
 
Leadership for the emerging world, the 7th national conference organised by Spirituality, Leadership and Management Inc (SLaM), will be held 11–14 February at St Joseph’s, Sydney. It aims to inspire new ideas and thinking on how business leaders integrate the complexities of leadership in organisations in the 21st century. How do we develop new business models that optimise employee wellbeing and sustainability without sacrificing profitability?
 
Keynote speakers are lifting the taboo on taking spiritual values into business. Speakers include Michael Rennie from McKinsey and Company, Rosemary Sainty from St James Ethics Centre, Dexter Dunphy from University of Technology Sydney, Gianni Zappala from the Centre for Social Impact, and Paul Gilding, an adviser and advocate for action on climate change and sustainability. They will provide insights into successful organisations and new leadership that is emerging around the globe.
 
Speakers from prominent organisations such as Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, Fuji Xerox and St Vincents & Mater Health Sydney will present case studies on what they are doing and the results they are achieving. Topics will include leadership practices, business transformation, engagement of the workforce, ethical decision making, wellbeing at work, and developing the leaders of today and tomorrow.
 
Sessions throughout the conference will include creative expression, reflection, ritual, arts-based and other learning processes to connect intellect, emotions and spirit. The conference is designed to be more than a series of separate presentations by different people. Sue Davidoff, the conference facilitator, will guide participants to discover an underlying intent and shared meaning throughout the event. The conference will be an unfolding process where participants are able to step inside its very flow.
 
The conference is an opportunity for participants to connect with leaders and practitioners who are focusing on the importance of finding meaning at work and aligning individuals' values with their work, leading to personal fulfilment as well as increased commitment and performance.
 
For more information visit the conference website.
 
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