“The Fair Work Commission’s decision to vary the Fast Food Industry Award to increase flexibility for employers and employees during the COVID-19 crisis is very welcome. The decision was made in response to an application by Ai Group. The new flexibilities relate to part-time employment and the taking of annual leave. The measures are practical and in the interests of employers and employees,” Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group said today.
“The award variations that have been made were supported by the ACTU and the Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers Union – the union that represents fast food and retail workers. They were opposed by a group called the Retail and Fast Food Workers ‘Union’ which, despite its name, is not a union under the laws that regulate unions and employer associations in Australia.
“According to media reports, some elements within the union movement are opposed to any further agreements with employers on changes to awards to provide flexibility during the crisis. Hopefully, the leadership in the union movement will continue to see that it is in everyone’s interests for businesses to have the flexibility that they need to save as many jobs as possible.
“The COVID-19 crisis is a very long way from being over. Even when the health crisis is under control, the economic crisis will be with us for a long time. It is in everyone’s interests for measures to be implemented to boost employment and productivity, and to encourage investment. Increased flexibility in awards has a role to play in this regard,” Mr Willox said.