Business Advice

KFC fined $100,000 for Adelaide worker injury … Fair Work prepares to roll out penalty rate changes … Decathlon to open first store in Sydney

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By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn

Safework South Australia has fined an Adelaide KFC outlet more than $100,000 following a 2015 incident where a worker stepped into a tank of hot oil and suffered severe burns to 9% of his body.

The ABC reports the oil was placed on the ground behind the worker by a fellow employee, who had not warned him it was there. The worker then stepped backwards into the tank and was injured.

Whilst Magistrate Stephen Lieschke acknowledged KFC had training in place for workers to identify the hazards of hot surfaces, he said the restaurant had not addressed hazards relating to hot oil and correct procedure around the oil tanks, labelling the system “deficient”.

“As a result, a 17-year-old trainer, a necessarily inexperienced youth, was left to work out a system for performing the task and instructing new employees, in this instance as to an unsafe procedure,” he said, reports the ABC.

“I accept that KFC did have a system of training that included some online learning, on-the-job training and skills assessment, together with general safety awareness instructions for trainers.”

The worker will receive $15,000 in reparations with the restaurant being fined an additional $105,000.

Fair Work Commission begins penalty rates planning

The Fair Work Commission has started planning the rollout of new weekend penalty rates after handing down its decision in February to reduce the hourly wages of some retail and hospitality staff. 

Business groups attended a Fair Work Commission hearing in Melbourne on Tuesday, advocating for the immediate introduction of the reduced rates from July 1, 2017, reports AAP. 

The Commission is currently accepting submissions on the rollout of the changes, with several industry groups advocating for a two-step process, to be started as soon as possible.  

“Implementing a two-stage transitional pay arrangement for the reduction in Sunday penalty rates will allow retailers to roster additional staff on a Sunday, and give more employment opportunities to young workers seeking both extra hours and new employment over the weekend,” ARA executive director Russell Zimmerman said on the issue in March.

Decathlon claims Sydney location with plans to open in October

French sports retailer Decathlon has secured a site for its first Australian store and will open the doors in October later this year.

Inside Retail reports, the retailer has secured an inner-west Sydney warehouse in the suburb of Tempe, on a site owned by Swedish furniture retailer Ikea, and is working towards the October opening date before rolling out around 100 stores across the nation.

Inside Retail also reports discussion around a Melbourne location for the retailer is in the final stages. The Sydney store is expected to stock 7000 products across 70 different brands on launch.

Decathlon revealed in March 2016 its plans to tackle the $4 billion sports retailing market in Australia by first testing the waters with an Australian-facing e-commerce store.

Experts have previously labelled the current sports retailing space in Australia as “challenging”, with international players such as Decathlon and JD Sports set to seriously shake up the market.

“The entry of global retailers will see prices fall, and retailers might see some challenging times,” said retail expert and associate professor at QUT Business School Gary Mortimer.

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