Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman says retailers are continuing to face a difficult operating environment and a 1.2 per cent minimum-wage increase is the best way to preserve employment within the retail sector.
“Given economic uncertainties, historically low inflation along with rising costs for retailers, this 1.2 per cent increase will minimise employment losses in the weak labour market,” he said.
He adds that the ARA has consulted its membership base, including large members and numerous small to medium Australian retailers, in making this recommendation.
“The retail industry’s submission has outlined the difficult trading environment existing in the retail sector as a result of globalisation and advances in technology throughout the industry,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“With low to flat price growth and increased wages costs well above our international competitors, it’s critical that the Fair Work Commission take into account the weak economic trading conditions when making their decision.”