Modernised awards will put up bread price, say bakers

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Modernised awards will put up bread price, say bakers

The baking industry is claiming the price of bread will rise because of the introduction of modernised awards.

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The baking industry is claiming the price of bread will rise because of the introduction of modernised awards.
 
The Baking Manufacturer’s Industry Association of Australia (BMIAA) says a recent comparison of the spread of ordinary hours of work in industrial awards around Australia has highlighted the strong likelihood that costs will increase.
 
‘The AIRC has to take into account the 24-hour-a-day nature of the baking industry and not penalise small bakeries by reducing the numbers of hours available to employers designated as ordinary hours of work,’ said the national president of the BMIAA, Stewart Latter.
 
Start at 3 am
 
‘A bakery’s day usually starts at 3 am and this has been the start of the normal baking working day for centuries.'
 
‘I look forward to the Commission looking favourably on the submission being lodged by the BMIAA which gives a realistic summary of the spread of ordinary hours.’
 
Latter claimed increases in employment costs will have disastrous effects on the long-term viability of many bakeries, especially in remote and regional areas.
 
He said small bakeries have a very heavy reliance on employment and cost increases will have a negative effect.
 
Protect jobs
 
‘While the association welcomes the modernisation and streamlining of awards, it is vital to protect jobs at this time in an industry already struggling with skills shortages and rising input prices,’ he said.
 
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has also claimed modernised awards will add to employers’ costs.
 
It says hundreds of thousands of employers in the hospitality, retail and related service industries are set to pay higher penalty rates, allowances, overtime, annual leave and wages solely in the name of regulatory clean up (as hundreds of existing awards are rolled into a smaller number).
 
In evidence to the Senate Committee, business organisations demonstrated that some employers face labour cost increases of 20% from next year solely from new award regulation.
 
‘Paying more to employ people simply because regulations are being consolidated is unacceptable. It will start the new industrial relations system on the wrong note,’ ACCI said.
 
‘Labour cost increases on this basis are grossly unfair to employers. They will cost jobs in labour intensive and award-reliant industries.'
 
No additional costs
 
‘The government said there would not be additional costs from award modernisation, and the Senate has an obligation to make sure there are not.'
 
‘The Fair Work Bill should be amended to direct the Commission that no new industrial award should increase employer costs.’
 
ACCI said Fair Work Australia will be able to order that an employee’s pay not be reduced in the transition onto a modern award, and employers need equal protection against additional award costs.
 
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