New research has confirmed retailers need help to comply with the Modern Retail Award and the Fair Work Australia regime, with only three out of 10 retailers having access to in-house employment relations (ER) specialists.
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) employment relations spokesperson Campbell Fisher said employer organisations like the ARA would need to play a major role in guiding retailers through the changing industrial relations landscape.
“ER advice is a top concern for retailers with over 75 per cent of retailers acknowledging they are likely to face the challenge of reviewing terms to comply with the Modern Retail Award and National Employment Standards (NES),” said Fisher.
“However, only 30 per cent of respondents have access to in-house employment relations resources.
It is more likely larger retailers with more stores and more employees would have a dedicated in-house employment relations specialist, but small retailers need to seek advice to ensure they’re fulfilling their obligations as employers.
“The survey results confirm one of the most critical services for small business owners is employment relations advice and this is particularly relevant in light of major changes to industrial relations laws and the new award structure beginning on 1 January 2010,” said Fisher.
The ARA has recently formed a partnership with FCB Workplace Lawyers and Consultants to meet the increase in demand for employment relations advice and service in the future.
An online employment relations management system (ERMS) tailored for the retail industry is to be launched later this year.