In his address at the AFR Retail Summit, Justice Iain Ross discussed the 6,000 submissions into the Fair Work Commission’s inquiry into varying the modern retail award, and noted that weekend penalty rates could be replaced by a “loaded” hourly rate which would be negotiated between the worker and their employer.
Peter Strong, CEO of COSBOA, congratulated Fair Work Commission President Iain Ross and the Fair Work Commission for initiating a discussion on changes to the past historical approach to weekend penalty rates.
The globalisation of business and societal demand for services has largely resulted in community expectations for businesses to be as available on weekends as they are during the week.
“In fact, as a society, the weekend has become less sacrosanct than it was 30 years ago and many people are just as happy to work on weekends as they are during the traditional Monday to Friday week”, said Mr Strong.
“Sure, there are some challenges in changing long-held employment practices such as weekend penalty rates but Small Business has had to move to accommodate increased societal demands for weekend trading and it is only sensible that we revisit weekend employment practices”, continued Mr Strong
“We warmly welcome President Ross’s leadership on this issue and we will be discussing this with our members and look forward to participating in this discussion in the near future” stated Mr Strong.