SDA | The Union for Freedom Workers
Following negotiations between the SDA and Freedom the proposed Freedom Retail Enterprise Agreement 2020 is ready for you to consider.
The proposed agreement delivers an outcome consistent with the SDA’s key priorities.
The proposal contains:
- Protection of your take-home pay
- New and increased penalty rates
- Yearly wage increases
- Retention of most hard-won SDA union conditions
This document contains a summary of the differences between the proposed agreement and the current Freedom agreement. If approved by team members the proposed agreement will commence 7 days after approval by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The Agreement has a nominal expiry date of 3 years after the date that the Commission approves the agreement.
Copies of the agreement are available in the lunchroom.
The proposed agreement contains significant changes to conditions of employment at Freedom.
Please read this information carefully and if you have any questions about the proposal please speak to your SDA Delegate/Shop Steward, SDA organiser or call the SDA.
The proposed Agreement ensures improved wage outcomes for all employees over the life of the Agreement, including:
- Regular pay rises in line with the increase in the Award
- New and increased penalty rates
*Company no longer engages Retail consultants 5-day which were a separate classification to Retail consultant.
The spread of ordinary hours has changed:
Overtime is paid for all hours worked outside the spread of ordinary hours. The spread of hours in the proposed Agreement reflects the Award spread of hours.
The current agreement only has one classification; Retail Consultant.
The proposed agreement contains two classifications; Retail Consultant Level 1 and Retail Consultant Level 2.
The proposed agreement contains a second classification which brings senior sales people, who previously sat outside of the agreement, under the classification of Retail Consultant level 2. They will be paid at a rate of 106% of the Retail Level 1 wage.
Retail Consultant Level 2’s will be engaged to perform higher duties and tasks such as but not limited to:
- Opening and closing of the premise and associated security;
- Security of Cash;
- Conducting training;
- Conducting store meetings;
Adult rates of pay will now apply to any worker who is 20 years old or over, meaning that workers must no longer wait until they are 21 to receive the adult rate.
Also, the rate of pay for under 16-year olds has been separated from the 16-year-old bracket and will be paid at 45% of the adult rate.
Proposed Junior Rate Structure:
Casual loading in the proposed agreement is to increase from 23% to 25% of the relevant ordinary rate of pay for a permanent employee.
The proposed agreement contains a laundry allowance that will be paid to all employees who wear any special uniform, dress or other clothing (a uniform) and launder it at home:
Casual/Part-time $1.25 per shift
Full-time $6.25 per week
Wage increases will now follow the percentage increase that is handed down by the Fair Work Commission in the Annual Wage Review and come into effect on the first full pay period on or after 1 July each year.
*Please note this table has been corrected from an earlier version of the SDA summary document which had the incorrect span of hours for Saturday and Sunday.
Public Holidays have been reduced from 250% to 225% for permanent employees in line with the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rate decision.
As a result of the SDA winning our case in the Fair Work Commission, casual penalty rates will increase over the life of the proposed agreement for work on Monday to Friday 6pm-11pm and on Saturdays.
The SDA has defended the following above-Award conditions that will remain in the proposed Agreement:
Higher wage rates than the Award
Voluntary Work on Public Holidays
Non-working day entitlement for Public Holidays
NSW Union Picnic Day
Full-time team members guaranteed a minimum daily engagement of 4 hours
Uncapped jury service leave
Rostering taking into account family, carer, study, religious and safe transport considerations and genuine sporting commitments
Additional day of Compassionate Leave
Defence Force Leave
Paid Blood Donor Leave
Emergency Services Leave
Natural Disaster Leave (up to 2 days paid leave)
Higher Redundancy Pay for existing workers
Status Quo when following grievance procedure
Long Service Leave double leave at half pay
Limited Tenure protections
Superior Parental Leave entitlements
Conversion to full time employment clause
Paid Leave for Union training
There are also a range of new rights for Freedom workers as part of the proposed Agreement:
Removal of 20% reduction of part time hours clause:
Under the current Agreement, a part time team member can have their core hours reduced by up to 20% per year, subject to certain criteria.
The proposed new Agreement does not contain this provision. This means that without the team member’s consent, a part time team member’s core (or contracted) hours can no longer be reduced.
Roster change consultation rights:
The proposed Agreement requires Freedom to consult with a team member before they propose a change to the team member’s roster. This means that before your roster is changed, Freedom will have to:
Provide information about the change (eg what the change will be and when)
Ask you to give your view about the change (eg will it impact an existing commitment, such as child care arrangements)
Consider your response about the impact of the change.
Any disputes about a change to your roster can be escalated under the Disputes Procedure in the Agreement.
The SDA is available to assist any SDA member with a concern about proposed changes to their roster.
Part Time Additional Hours:
Many part time team members currently do flex up additional hours in addition to their core contracted hours. The proposed Agreement continues to allow part time team members to work additional hours if they wish.
Under the proposed Agreement if a part time team member accepts additional hours they will have to provide written consent before they can work the additional hours. You can provide a standing written consent to do additional hours based on your availability or you can agree in writing each time. You can revoke any standing written consent at any time.
Any additional hours a part time team member agrees in writing to do are paid at the appropriate ordinary rate of pay, including any penalty rates. These hours are included in the calculation of a team member’s superannuation payments, leave accruals and your average hours worked for the year.
A part time team member doing additional hours cannot be rostered to work a total number of hours (contract hours and additional hours) in excess of 144 hours in any 4 week cycle, without the payment of overtime. A team member does not have to accept additional hours.
If you do not agree in writing to work additional part time hours, additional hours are paid as overtime and do not accrue superannuation or leave entitlements.
New Casual Conversion to Permanent Clause:
The proposed Agreement provides the ability for a team member engaged as a casual to request to convert to permanent employment, subject to certain criteria being met. This entitlement has been secured as a result of a case run by the SDA/ACTU in the Fair Work Commission.
To be eligible, the casual team member must have worked regularly for at least 12 months. If they have regularly worked an average of at least 10 hours per week, they can request to be made a part time team member.
All requests must be in writing.
Freedom can only refuse a request of a casual team member to become permanent on reasonable grounds after consultation with the team member making the request. If Freedom refuse the request they must provide their reasons for this in writing to the team member.
The SDA is available to assist any SDA member who is casual and wants to request to convert to permanent employment.
Domestic Violence Leave
The proposed Agreement provides for 3 paid days and 5 unpaid days of Family and Domestic Violence Leave (FDVL) for Full-time and Part-time workers.
This is significantly better than the entitlement to only unpaid Domestic Violence Leave in the Retail Award. The inclusion of paid FDVL recognises that team members who experience family and domestic violence may need additional support to deal with the impact of the family and domestic violence, particularly to make arrangements for their safety and the safety of others, attend medical appointments, court appointments, access police services and related activities which are impractical for a team member to deal with outside of their ordinary hours of work.
The proposed Agreement provides a detailed clause on how to access this leave and important commitments of confidentiality from Freedom towards team members accessing this leave.
Casuals will be entitled to 5 days unpaid leave.
Improved Higher Duties Clause:
Under the proposed Agreement workers who undertake duties and responsibilities of a higher classification will be entitled to be paid at the higher classification rate of pay. If the time frame of which the worker has undertaken the higher duties is more than 2 hours then the worker will be entitle to the higher rate for the duration of that shift. If the duties are only performed for under 2 hours of a shift, then the worker will be entitled to the higher rate of pay for the duration that they undertook the higher duties.
Annual Leave Loading:
The proposed Agreement introduces a loading when workers take annual leave. The Annual leave loading will be 17.5% of the worker’s ordinary weekly earnings, or the relevant weekend penalty rates that the worker would have been entitled to if they had worked on a weekend. You will be paid whichever is the greater but not both. The current Agreement does not provide for this loading.
Cashing out Annual Leave:
Workers under the proposed Agreement will be able to cash out up to two weeks’ worth of excess annual leave every 12 months. After cashing out of annual leave a worker must not be left with a balance that is less than 4 weeks. The cashing out of the leave will include the relevant annual leave loading or the relevant penalty rates. Under the current Agreement workers do not have this option.
Great restrictions on Company directing an employee to take annual leave:
The proposed Agreement puts in place a more restrictive process for the company to direct an employee to take annual leave. For the direction to be made, the employee will need to either have a balance of over 2 years’ worth of annual leave, or Freedom will need to be closing down a part or all of its operations. The company must genuinely consult with the employee on how to reduce their balance and can not force a worker to take annual leave within 8 weeks or more than 12 months after making the direction. Also, the direction to take annual leave cannot result in the employee having less than 6 weeks annual leave remaining.
The proposed Agreement introduces a second meal break after an employee has worked 10 hours and allows for employees to have up to a 60-minute unpaid meal break.
The proposed Agreement allows for 3 days of compassionate leave as opposed to the 2 days afford to employees under the National Employment Standards.
The following provisions, that are not in the General Retail Industry Award, are also not in the proposed Agreement:
Split Shifts (also called Additional Shifts)
The proposed Agreement will not have split shifts, which previously permitted two shifts to be worked on one day with less than a ten-hour break between shifts.
Now there will have to be a 10 hour break in between finishing one shift and starting the next shift. That means that the previous practice in some stores of using split shifts is no longer permitted.
Reduction in minimum contract hours for Permanent Part time workers:
Under the proposed Agreement the minimum weekly hours for a permanent part-time worker will decrease from 20 hours over a two-week cycle to 18 hours. All permanent part-time employees employed at the commencement will maintain their current contract hours.
First Aid Allowance:
The first aid allowance under the proposed Agreement will follow the rate as set by the General Retail Industry Award which is currently set at $0.30 per hour up to a maximum of $11.21 per week. This is less than the current rate of $12.89 per week.
Under the proposed Agreement workers may be rostered to work up to 3 weekends in a 4 week cycle provided that on the Sunday they do not work, they receive a 3 consecutive day break including the Saturday. This is different to the current agreement which limits workers to working 2 Sundays in a 4 week cycle.
Compulsory Meetings and training Shifts:
The ability of Freedom to roster Compulsory meetings and training shifts will be limited to 8 occasions per year under the new agreement. This is a reduction of 4 compared to the current Agreement which allows for 12.
Also, workers will be entitled to payment for the minimum engagement of 3 hours when these meetings or training sessions are rostered. Under the current agreement the company could roster a training session or meeting provided it was at least 2 hours.
The overtime meal allowance will be payable to workers after 1 hour of overtime if the worker was not given at least 24 hours’ notice of the overtime shift. This will be at the rate that is established by the Award and will increase with the adjustments to the Award. The current Agreement only allows for a meal allowance once 2 hours of overtime has been worked and does not increase over the life of the Agreement.
In the current Agreement the Company makes superannuation contributions every 3 months which mirrors the minimum obligation under the Superannuation Guarantee Act. The proposed Agreement outlines that superannuation contributions will be made on a monthly basis. Also, under the proposed Agreement workers will be able to nominate which superfund they would like their contributions to be made into.
NO NEW AGREEMENT WILL BE INTRODUCED WITHOUT A VOTE OF FREEDOM WORKERS.
The SDA has fought hard to deliver the best possible outcome for Freedom workers.
Voting will be 100% confidential and run through the Freecom intranet platform. You will be sent an email and asked to vote via a link sent to your personal email via logging in with your usual log in details. You will need to enter the log in where you will follow the instructions and you will be asked to vote yes or no to the proposed agreement.
If you encounter any issues with the voting process, please talk to your store manager who will provide access to the voting system.
Voting will take place between 9-11 March.