By Amy Looker
The Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) has expressed concern over the Fair Work Commission's decision to increase modern award wage rates by 2.6 per cent.
The increase, which is part of the 2013 Annual Wage Review, is the fourth such increase since the new arrangements were announced in January 2010.
ALSA chief executive officer, Terry Mott, said the increase will impact heavily on the viability and employment decisions of many small packaged liquor retailers.
"The compounding effect of the transition to the modern awards, plus four national wage hikes, plus the impact of the first stage of superannuation guarantee increases on July 1 2013 will mean employment cost increases approaching 20 per cent for a typical small liquor retailer in NSW," said Mott.
According to Mott, employment cost increases will be well over 20 per cent by July 2014, compounded by the second phased increase of 0.25 per cent for the superannuation guarantee.
"This will place increasing cost pressure on small retailers who are already struggling with the rising cost of utilities and other costs of doing business. In a very competitive market place this will put more pressure on decisions to hire workers in the retail sector."
The new rates will apply from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2013.