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A recent judgment which has seen a casual worker’s leave entitlements extended could “cripple” retailers, the national peak warns.

The Federal Court found a casual truck driver employed by WorkPac was entitled to back pay for annual leave and other entitlements because of the regularity of their shifts.

The National Retail Association (NRA) Deputy CEO Lindsay Carroll expressed concern the decision could impact the retail sector by allowing casuals to “double dip” entitlements, with potentially devastating consequences.

“The NRA is concerned that the recent WorkPac decision by the Federal Court has the potential to open a can of worms that could affect industries other than mining,” Ms Carroll said.

“Allowing casual employees to ‘double dip’ – whereby they receive higher wages while also accessing entitlements such as annual leave – has the potential to financially cripple many small businesses across several sectors.’

The impacts would be exacerbated for retailers that are reliant on casual workers, such as the hospitality sector, as well as for small businesses who are already struggling with rising costs.

“This is particularly true of some areas of the retail sector, such as fast food, which rely heavily on casual workers in periods of high customer demand.”

“Should the WorkPac precedent be extended to other industries, it would result in many mum-and-dad small businesses going down the plughole, along with thousands of jobs.”

Ms Carroll called on the Morrison Government to introduce legislation to safeguard employers against “double-dipping of employee entitlements.”

“The NRA urges the Federal Minister Kelly O’Dwyer to put forward legislation that will guarantee that other industries aren’t affected by double-dipping in the way mining has,” Ms Carroll said.

“We also call on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to back Australia’s small business community and help put an end to unacceptable double-dipping.”

“And finally, we urge the union movement to understand that this double-dipping threatens the livelihoods of small businesses who employ their members across numerous sectors throughout the country.”