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Penalty rate reduction expected to support further growth in retail sector

Young men paying for order in a cafe

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has said that penalty rates must be reduced to support further retail growth. This comes as retail figures for June 2015 have shown further growth while the Productivity Commission has opened discussion on the matter of penalty rates.

Retail trade figures for June 2015 grew by 4.9 per cent year on year to 24.3 billion.

Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA said “June’s retail sales growth is very pleasing and is an improvement on the previous month’s positive results of 4.6 percent, indicating increased confidence in the market.”

Meanwhile the Productivity Commission has released a report into workplace relations recommending that Sunday penalty rates for retailers are brought in line with the Saturday rate at 25 per cent.

Mr Zimmerman said “The ARA is pleased to see the Productivity Commission has opened up discussion on penalty rates. The ARA, along with a group of retailers is already engaged in a review of the General Retail Industry Award 2010 (GRIA), with the view to reducing costs for retailers who trade on Sundays.

“We fully support the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s report and look forward to working with the Government to implement these reforms,’ he said.