Six teenagers have been sacked from Victorian hardware store Terang Co-op, where they were working 1.5 hours a day after school, because the new IR system won’t let them work less than three hours a day.
In commenting on the dismissal of the young workers, the National Retail Association (NRA) executive director Gary Black said it showed that Australia’s new IR laws are not working and exposes the flaws in the so-called modern award system.
“The modern retail award requirement for employees to be given a minimum of three hours pay for each engagement was based on capital city considerations, where workers travel long distances to work and deserve to be given a guarantee of minimum hours before they are called out.
“The Terang problem arises because the modern award is a one size fits all, capital city instrument which is incapable of accommodating the preferences of school kids wanting to earn a few dollars in income in a regional location where there are limited alternative sources of income.
“This is a case where the employer and his employees know what the solution is to the problem, but they can’t implement it because the new IR system says it knows best,” added Black.