Major bid to scrap pay rates for juniors

Unions have launched a landmark bid to scrap junior wages for half a million young workers.

The ACTU is calling for the ‘right to disconnect’ laws introduced by the Albanian government to be strengthened. The union is calling on the Fair Work Commission to include the laws in pay, arguing that employers should be held responsible for good staffing. She suggests taking two more factors into account, namely whether the employee is on leave or absent in another permitted manner.

The action, launched by Australian Council of Trade Union secretary Sally McManus and Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association national secretary Gerard Dwyer, was lodged with the Fair Work Commission on Thursday.

Under current workplace rules, employees under the age of 21 do not receive the full pay rate. Those in their 20s receive 90 percent of the reward rate, while 19-year-olds receive 80 percent and 18-year-olds 70 percent.

Unions have launched action to abolish junior rates for 18 to 20-year-olds in the retail and fast food sectors. Photo: NCA NewsWire/Bianca De Marchi

The union’s bid aims to increase the wage rate of this cohort so that it is in line with the full wage rate.

The application also seeks to increase wage rates for workers aged 15 to 17.

The proposal says 17-year-olds should receive 75 percent of the pay rate, up from 60 percent, while workers 16 and younger should receive half the pay rate, up from 45 percent.

More to come