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VENDOR AND SUPPLIERS | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Wage rate calculations now free for QSRs

Employee Relations Strategies offers the service free of charge.

"For the last 4 years, wage rates under many awards in Australia (awards set minimum pay rates) have been very difficult and complex to calculate," explained Steve Champion, Director of ER Strategies.

The complexity has confused many QSR employers and has exposed some of them to significant brand risk, as reported by QSR Media previously. A reason also why many organisations have needed to charge for the cost of providing those calculations.

"This has been because award rates have been transitioning from more than 4400 old State and Federal awards, down to around 120. Virtually every combination of possible old and new wage rates have had to be calculated for employers to locate the correct ones. Penalty rates were also transitioning and were even different depending on what date you started up your business."

Fortunately for QSRs, the complexity will largely disappear after July 1, as organisations will only need to calculate wages under the 120 or so federal awards and there will be no more transitioning.

Given the lower complexity of wage rate calculations, ER Strategies has decided to not charge for calculating and providing access to those rates under many major awards that affect many QSRs.

"The end of transitioning wage rates and penalties under the modern awards should finally help realise the original intention of the award modernisation process: to simplify awards and thereby make it easier for employers to comply with their employment obligations under the awards," explained Champion.

He also emphasised that, "this change hasn’t made an employer’s employment obligations completely simple in every respect, but it has made it a lot easier to understand than before the modernisation process began in 2010 and in the intervening transitional period since then."

His firm will initially make the Retail, Fast Food and Restaurant industry award wage schedules available, but according to Champion, is planning to make othermajor award wage rates available as well, including Private Sector Award and the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award, amongst others.

The service will be free for anyone who registers on the firm's website. Subscribers will be notified when the rates have changed and provided a link to the wage rate schedules; they can also unsubscribe anytime.

Champion is encouraging QSRs to take advantage of this free service, noting, "up until now, QSR employers either had to join an employer association or pay consultants to access these rates, or alternatively try to navigate a very complex process of working out individual rates using the Fair Work Ombudsman’s PayCheck Plus service. Now the pay rates will be made available by ER Strategies completely free of charge. We think this is a bold move and will be of enormous assistance to QSR employers in accessing free information of vital importance to their businesses."

ER Strategies franchise clients include KFC, Pizza Hut, 7-Eleven, Nandos Chicken, Red Rooster (NSW franchisees), Hungry Jacks, Guzman y Gomez, IKU Wholefoods and others.  

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