MEDIA STATEMENT –Re: ‘Workers underpaid $300m – The Age’ 31/8/16

The SDA rejects assertions in today’s Fairfax story that the majority of workers at Woolworths, KFC and Hungry Jacks are worse off under a variety of Enterprise Agreements.

The SDA has worked hard over many years to lift fast food industry rates to achieve parity with retail. Some fast food workers in some states have received wage increases in excess of 20% above the National Wage increases since 2009. The industrial regulation of fast food in Australia in recent years has a complex history.

The fast food brands in the Fairfax article do pay loaded rates above the Fast Food Award. The fast food brands mentioned are also required to pay a casual loading of 25% and not a lower rate as asserted by Fairfax. The fast food brands operate under a franchise model, and do conduct payroll audits of franchisees, but if employees think they may be getting underpaid they should contact their local SDA Branch for assistance.

Moving the value of penalty rates into a higher base hourly rate has long been a feature of bargaining in Australia in many industries, used by many unions, and approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

The SDA stands by its submission that the Coles Full Bench decision (May 2016) is a significant case in re-shaping how the FWC applies the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT).

As stated publicly the SDA accepts the FWC’s new application of the BOOT and SDA bargaining frameworks have been changed accordingly. Post the Coles decision the SDA has advised employers that existing loaded rates models will no longer meet BOOT, and new frameworks will need to be adopted.

Both KFC and Hungry Jacks have commenced bargaining for new Agreements that will meet the new BOOT parameters.

The SDA will and has always done all we can to bargain for the best possible outcome for members within the industrial framework.

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