A study by the Monash University has found a balance between employment and remuneration would be made possible through the reduction of penalty rates.

The Sunday Trading in Australia Report, which covered the views of almost 600 retail employees, found Sunday trade – when penalty rates are the highest – have generally strong trade account for 10 per cent to 25 per cent of weekly trade but retailers are less profitable due the high labour costs.

At the same time, retailers face the challenge brought about by consumer and marketplace trends including online retailer, increased consumer desire for 24/7 convenience, consumer knowledge power and increasing savings levels.

The results of the report only further highlights the Australian Retailers Association’s (ARA) decision in March to make a submission to Fair Workplace Australia (FWA) on the Modern Award Review 2012. ARA called for the General Retail Industry Award (GRIA) Review to consider modern retail conditions, consumer demand for 24/ 7 shopping and promote employment in a sector responsible for 1.2 million jobs.

ARA executive Russell Zimmerman said the push to review a number of issues such as penalty rates and retail employment conditions were for retaining employment and allowing Australian retailers to reach their consumers according to the workings of a modern shopping economy.

“The objective of the retail award is to set a minimum safety net for both employers and employees. However, retailers are increasingly concerned this minimum safety net is too high, leading to substantial labour cost pressures which poses a threat to long term employment and viability,” he said.

To see the report in full, click here.