Giving teenage employees free and discounted pizzas and soft drink instead of wages – a practice belonging "in the dark ages rather than twenty first century Australia" – has cost a pizza franchise operator $335,000 in fines.
A positive economic outlook and sustained labour productivity improvement are key factors in yesterday's Fair Work Commission's decision to award a 3% increase to award rates of pay, with the minimum wage panel again advising employer groups that they need to introduce more rigour to their surveys if they are to have any influence on the tribunal's deliberations.
The ACTU's bid to remove former senior public servant Tony Cole from this year's annual wage review has failed, after he told the peak body in a consultation hearing this morning that he would not step down because he was not a party to the Audit Commission's recommendation to reduce the minimum wage.
The number of casual workers in Australia has climbed past the 2.2 million mark but the proportion of the workforce that is casual has steadied and another form of non-standard employment - independent contracting - has fallen over the last five years, according to the latest ABS data.
The Fair Work Commission has pushed the federal and state governments to show their hands in this year's wage review, asking them what dollar or percentage increase would constitute a "cautious" or "balanced" approach.
The ACTU has asked that a member of the minimum wage review panel stand aside on the grounds of "apprehended bias" after he sat on the Abbott Government's Commission of Audit, which recommended a radical reduction in the pay safety net. Meanwhile, retail super funds have begun legal action against the FWC.