By Clyde Mooney
A report released by the Productivity Commission last Thursday has questioned the ‘fairness’ of the Fair Work Act.
The recommendation was focused on the plight of the retail industry, which is both experiencing a significant economic downturn and struggling to cope with the requirement to satisfy the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT).
The Australian Hotels Association (AHA) today acknowledged this move forward, recognising the similarities between the Australian retail and hospitality industries.
The AHA notes that both industries are labour-intensive, award-reliant and employ large numbers of people, and both face labour shortages and competition from overseas.
The Productivity Commission recommend that in an upcoming review of the Fair Work Act, which became fully operational January 1, 2010, obstacles facing employers negotiating enterprise bargaining agreements be addressed.
Reference 9.1 of the Draft Recommendations in the Commission’s report also recommends that all retail trading hours should be fully deregulated in all states, including public holidays.
This comes as part of recognition that Australia suffers the dual burdens of distance and high labour costs, which contribute greatly to the loss of tourism dollars to overseas businesses, particularly with the Australian dollar at near-record highs.