Retailers face 14% wage bill increase under new award

The Australian Retailers Association says the Rudd Government’s draft award modernisation proposal would increase the annual wage bill of the average retailer by 14% or $22,000.

The Australian Retailers Association says the Rudd Government’s draft award modernisation proposal would increase the annual wage bill of the average retailer by 14% or $22,000.

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission released 14 draft awards in September as part of the Rudd Government’s award process. The new awards are set to come into effect from 2010.

On the ARA’s costings, the annual wage bill of a small retailer with two full time and two casual employees would rise by $22,000 on average across Australia.

ARA executive director Richard Evans has warned the introduction of the award will result in higher grocery prices.

“The general consensus among employer groups has consistently shown the exposure draft’s severe financial impacts and the ability of SME retailers to absorb these price impacts is questionable,” Evans says.

“There is no doubt consumers will foot the bill through price increases on goods and groceries.”

The ARA’s state-by-state costings for the increase in annual wage bill increase are as follows:

  • New South Wales: $30,094 or 22%
  • Victoria: $20,443 or 11%
  • Queensland: $27,024 or 19%
  • Western Australia: $21,117 or 14%
  • South Australia: $27,745 or 20%
  • Tasmania: $25,314 or 18%
  • Australian Capital Territory: $26,484 or 18%
  • Northern Territory: $17,202 or 11%

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