New retail chief targeting penalty rates

The Australian, July 12, 2016

Lower Sunday penalty rates and less restrictive retail trading hours will be two of the main priorities of the National Retail Association’s new chief executive, Dominique Lamb.

Ms Lamb, who joined the NRA last year from the association’s law firm NRA Legal, will be confirmed today as its new chief executive after previous boss Trevor Evans, was elected as the federal member for the seat of Brisbane.

“We will continue to highlight issues that are costing retailers money,” she told The Australian yesterday.

“We will continue to agitate for changes to the restrictions on retail trading hours in the states.

“Queensland and Western Australia are the worst in terms of trading hours. They are big states and there are a lot of regional areas where there are trading restrictions.

“We will continue to help our members making submissions to state tribunals on these issues.”

Ms Lamb said the NRA, which represents about 20,000 retailers across Australia from small shops to Woolworths and Coles, would also continue to lobby for lower penalty rates for Sunday trading.

“We will continue to agitate for reform of weekend penalty rates,” she said.

“We don’t seek to abolish them but we do seek to reduce them, back to what was the case before the introduction of the modern awards,” she said.

She added that this would mean reducing Sunday penalty rates from double time to the time and a half rates paid for Saturday work. “Any reduction in penalty rates would assist our members to be able to employ more workers.”