Bakers Delight ditches WorkChoices-era Collective Agreement

by John Hilton03 Feb 2017

Baker’s Delight have announced they will be replacing a Collective Agreement, resulting in a rise in pay and penalty rates for many employees.

The company was under pressure to change the outdated wage deal and increase weekend penalty rates.

The Agreement was established in 2006 after most Bakers Delight employees voted to support it and the Workplace Authority approved it.

It currently covers operations in Victoria and some stores in Queensland, and allowed Bakers Delight to pay 200 staff flat rates of $8 an hour.

The 2006 agreement limited penalty rates for staff working on the nightshift on Saturdays and Sundays. On Sundays, the Bakers Delight agreement restricted penalty rates to 10% (as opposed to double time under the award).

HC contacted Bakers Delight for comment and they acknowledged that the employment landscape has shifted since 2006, with the introduction of modern awards in 2010.

The existing Collective Agreement applies to around 160 employees across seven of their Victorian bakeries and around 40 employees across three of their Queensland bakeries. It is legal and binding until otherwise ordered by the Fair Work Commission.

“In light of this, we have applied to the Fair Work Commission to legally end the operation of the existing Collective Agreement at our company owned stores. We are communicating closely with our employees about this process,” said their statement.

Baker’s Delight also said they notified all of their franchisees of their decision and application.

“Whilst we cannot enforce them to make application to the Fair Work Commission, we have encouraged them to do so. We are supporting our franchisees who have reached out for assistance to make application to the Fair Work Commission.

"If our affected employees support our application to end this Agreement’s operation, it will likely succeed. They would then be covered by the General Retail Industry Award 2010 from the termination date onward. This date may be some time away, but regardless of the date, we will start paying staff rates under this award straight away, from 2 February 2017.
 
"This change runs concurrently against a broader public dialogue about workplace agreements, wages and the Fair Work Commission’s separate inquiry into whether weekend award penalty rates should be reduced in our business sector.

"Alongside other retailers, small and large, the outcome of Fair Work Commission’s upcoming penalty rate decision is incredibly important to us as we strive to sustainably operate businesses that meet the modern demands of customers who want to shop seven days a week, and employees who wish to work mostly, or exclusively, on weekends."

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union also applied on behalf of its members to the Fair Work Commission to terminate another expired agreement used by the company that was struck in 2011.

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