The Easter break may not be about friends, fun and family for most of Australia’s newsagents; they will be working longer hours due to the penalty rates that would have to be paid if they employed staff to work on the weekends and public holidays.
In a survey conducted by the Australian Newsagents’ Federation 90% of respondents said they would change shifts and give more hours to staff if penalty rates were not so high.
On public holidays, 91.84% of newsagency owners work themselves rather than pay the legislated penalty rates.
With more moderate penalty rates/shift allowances and increased flexibility to employ staff on flat rates 84% of newsagents said they would employ more staff.
62% of respondents start before 5 am and 54 per cent are still working after 6 pm and 100% of newsagents said they would like to have more flexibility in wage rates.These newsagents mostly start early and finish late so the extra hours adds additional pressure on their health and wellbeing. And, on the other end of the scale, their employees have fewer shifts than they otherwise might like.
The ANF has discussed the quite startling results of our recent survey on employment and Penalty Rates with Senator Nick Xenophon. Senator Xenophon is very concerned about the results and has asked the ANF for further information so he can articulate the effects on small businesses, the cost of public holidays and the potential number of jobs that could be created if penalty rates were more flexible.
We have adjusted the survey to provide this information and it would be really helpful if all newsagents could respond to this important issue. Please complete the survey, accessible via ANF/State Association communication sent to you this afternoon. This is very important if we are to have sufficient pressure to effect change.