Today the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down the Annual Wage Review decision.
The SDA, along with the ACTU, made strong submissions arguing for a substantial pay increase as part of the review, while employer lobby groups argued for a minimal or no increase at all.
A 1.75% increase for the Retail Awards.
Generally, pay increases take effect from 1 July each year, however, this year the Fair Work Commission has delayed the 1.75% increase until 1 February 2021 for the Retail Awards.
A wage freeze for the next seven months is no way to thank the brave retail workers who continued to serve the Australian community during the height of the COVID crisis, risking their health and safety to ensure families had access to everything they need.
Retail workers who stepped up and faced the emotional abuse during panic buying are now being thanked by the Fair Work Commission with a wage freeze and a Sunday penalty rate cut on July 1st.
The SDA is immediately applying to the FWC to delay the scheduled cut in Sunday penalty rates for retail and pharmacy employees due to hit on July 1st.
Delaying the minimum wage increase for retail workers, a sector dominated by women and young people, who have been disproportionately disadvantaged by the coronavirus pandemic, while other “essential service” workers receive a pay rise from July 1st, is not only unfair it is an insult.
The efforts of these workers, who risked their health and safety during the lockdown, were sufficient for some major retailers to recognise the SDA’s call for an Emergency Services Payment, but now the FWC has decided what they deserve is what amounts to a pay cut and another reduction in their penalty rates.
This is an unfair decision for those who bravely continued to serve in our supermarkets, and other retail essentials during the height of the pandemic.
It is unfair, unjust and not the fair go Australians expect.