MGA Independent Retailer December 2021 Issue 08

Page 1


08 DECEMBER 2021



OUR MISSION The mission of MGA Independent Retailers is to deliver the best possible industry specific business support services to independent grocery, liquor, hardware and associate store members.

MGA NATIONAL SUPPORT OFFICE Suite 5, 1 Milton Parade, Malvern, Victoria, 3144 P: 03 9824 4111 • F: 03 9824 4022 • Freecall: 1800 888 479

Contents 5

CEO Welcome

6 COVID-19 lockdowns and movement restrictions 9

WA: Vaccinations in the workplace


MGA Board of Directors News

11 Debate on Sunday trading heats up with strong views on both sides for change in law 13

Queensland Trading Hours Act Review



Unpaid parental leave

Debbie Smith (President): Queensland Grant Hinchcliffe (Vice President): Tasmania Graeme Gough: New South Wales Ripple Parekh: New South Wales Ross Anile: Western Australia Terry Slaughter: Queensland Chris dos Santos: South Australia Lincoln Wymer: Victoria Jeff Harper: Victoria


Annualised Salaries



18 Fair Work Act 2009: New National Employment Standard for requests for casual conversion 20 MGA very disappointed with RBA’s lack of direction over card fees 21 More decisive action needed on small business payments says, Ombudsman


24 What is a Small Business in Australia?

Jos de Bruin 03 9824 4111 E:


New CEO for Carlton & United Breweries


James Brindley calls time on 27 year Lion career


29 Edgemill Group extends flagship vodka brand with Salted Caramel NPD 30

Insurance industry moves to ease business struggles

Mark Paladino 0417 264 331 E:


Illicit Tobacco - Victoria


Training: ‘Tis the season - building a new team


Timber News: Building with timber in bushfire- prone areas


37 Applications for the 2022 Frederick O’Connell Scholarship are

Cindi Damian E:

FOLLOW US ONLINE MGAIndependentRetailers mga-independent-retailers MasterGrocers

now open 38

Victorian Liquor Licence renewal 2022


VCGLR Releases 2120 - 21 Annual Report

MGA Corporate Partners DIAMOND







tasmanian independent retailers


CEO Welcome Welcome to our final edition of Independent Retailer Magazine for the calendar year 2021.

As members will know, MGA absorbed the Timber Merchants Association almost four years ago. The TMA at the time had 80 active members comprising saw millers, timber wholesalers, frame and truss makers and hardware businesses. All are family and privately owned businesses that MGA completely embraces. Today the MGA TMA has over 200 members employing 2,000 staff and generating $4b in sales. MGA TMA is growing steadily. MGA and MGA TMA champions family and privately owned businesses and is opposed to the market power and anti-competitive behaviours of the extensive chain’s stores – Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and Bunnings. MGA TMA prides itself in sharing with members and industry friends and colleagues much of the activities MGA TMA engages in and embarks upon on behalf of members around Australia.

There is so much going on at any given time! The magazine is a snapshot of time during the year of the many activities MGA has been involved in. This edition includes a snapshot of the current rate of COVID-19 Vaccinations, Road Maps to reopening state and territory economies, and the various restrictions that are still in place, including QR codes, mask-

wearing, close and casual contacts and so on. This 2021 calendar year has been COVID-19 unpredictable, uncertain and challenging. The very “fastspreading” new COVID-19 Delta strain also provided situations our members have never worked through before. Keeping staff healthy and at work has never been a greater priority, with members wishing for staff to be vaccinated for their protection. Food and grocery businesses are always open to provide food supply and security to their customers. Members around Australia must be applauded for the incredible agility and adaptability to change, shown in all states and territories. This is all far from over. We must remain vigilant and ensure our Workplace COVID Safe Plans are in place, sanitisation is consistent, social distancing continues, masks are worn, and all other compliance obligations are met. MGA TMA has always encouraged members to present a nonmandatory vaccination policy to their staff and based upon the principle of “bringing staff with you” on the journey to providing a safe workplace and safe community to live in. Members in recent months have quite rightly expressed industrial relations concerns that may emanate from

COVID contracted in the workplace and many other staff vaccination issues. MGA TMA continues to work closely with all members to make sure there is no angst and fear concerning the issue they face in the workplace. MGA has written a letter to the NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, advocating that the NSW Government underwrite any Covid Related Workers Compensation claim and that NSW Workers Compensation premiums should not rise, aside from CPI increase, for the next five years. Finally, on behalf of the team at MGA TMA and MGA’s Board of Directors, thank you to all our Members around Australia for your support and usage of MGA TMA’s services. We are always here for you to “make your life easier”! We wish all our members and their families the very best of safe trading over the festive season and the best of health and prosperity for 2022. Best wishes to all, Jos de Bruin CEO MGA TMA Independent Retailers





COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions and state reopening road maps to the new normal The COVID -19 Pandemic thrust upon the entire Australian community back in February 2020 was an incredible, historic and challenging time endured for almost two years!

The community fear and panic were palpable with consumer panic buying occurring around the country of essential and household items. The entire Australian community hunkered down at home to face the unknown prospect of not freely circulating in their communities. Online shopping and takeaway food consumption have become the norm over time as consumers have been unable or unwilling to shop or eat at bricks and mortar stores and venues.

To say “we have all been in this together” is simply wrong – we haven’t been! We have witnessed State Governments adopt an unsavoury “every man for himself” approach, closing borders and imposing choking and debilitating restrictions without any consultation with their business communities. Thankfully the food and grocery supermarket sector, liquor and timber and hardware businesses have been regarded as essential and critical businesses and have been allowed to continue trading under strict Covid-19 compliance obligations. Each state and territory have been affected by Covid Pandemic restrictions, some much more than others. Melbourne Victoria has experienced the longest Covid-19 “lockdown” with curfews recorded in the world at 245 days, surpassing Buenos Aires in Argentina, which endured 234 days. | December 2021 | Edition 8

Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia have been less affected with infections and subsequent lockdowns than NSW, ACT, NT and Victoria. Fast forward 22 months to November 2021; we find a world shortage of ships, containers and pallets driving up the cost of freight and transportation to unviable levels due to the huge demands placed on this sector because of Government and consumer stimulus packages taking effect around the world. The Australian Home Builders grant was introduced in 2020 for fear of a building collapse. This stimulus $25k grant aimed at first home buyers had a massive uptake causing timber and building materials shortages. MGA became heavily involved from day 1 in various Federal and State Covid-19 small business recovery forums and task forces with other industry bodies. MGA has had a significant influence over many government initiatives at a federal level including, Job Keeper, Job Maker, Job Saver, Cash Flow Boosts, Home Builders grant (120,000 approved - $25k). Commercial Tenancy Relief Schemes, Cash flow boosts, payroll tax relief, and land tax relief at a state level. We have seen over the past two years, states and territories impose strict rules upon businesses. Including Covid Safe Workplace Plans, sanitising stations, separation of shifts and rostered staff, allocating specific amenities to designated staff to avoid mass staff

quarantining, QR codes, the wearing of masks, the installing of protective screens, Covid Marshalls, recognition of close and casual contacts in the workplace and more recently, display of personal vaccination certificates. The topic for discussion and controversy in 2021 has been Covid-19 Vaccinations, particularly since the new Delta strain became apparent early in 2021. The only preventative mechanism to keep communities safe and to resume a “normal” life is for the population to vaccinate against the very fast-spreading Covid-19 Delta strain. The Astra Zeneca and Pfizer vaccinations were first made available in March 2021. Since then, we have seen State and Territory Governments urge their constituents to be vaccinated with urgency. The states and territories with the most Covid-19 infections were the quickest to adopt vaccinations. However, a small and loud cohort of anti-vaxers have been and continue to speak against this initiative. The quantum of vaccinations in the community has become the trigger (Road Map) to reopening our societies and economies in these most affected states and territories. Employers wanted the Federal Government to mandate vaccinations to take away employers’ responsibility and avoid any unnecessary and unsavoury industrial relations issues in the workplace.



NATIONAL In a meeting with Attorney General Michaelia Cash, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus, Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker, and Safe Worker Australia CEO Michelle Baxter, it was articulated that the best option for employers was to introduce a NonMandatory Covid-19 Vaccination Policy. Implemented into workplaces and to encourage staff, family members and communities to be vaccinated. Better to leave strict mandating of vaccinations to State Governments in NSW, ACT Victorian and the northern territory. Western Australia has announced that Vaccinations will become mandatory, with the first vaccinations acquired by 31 December. MGA has created a non-mandatory vaccination policy and template letters and policies to be issued to staff. Informative Vaccination Posters have also been produced by MGA to be placed in staff rooms and storerooms to help promote the message for staff to join the vaccination movement. So now, at the time of writing, we find ourselves four weeks from Christmas Day. Below is a snapshot of our current position around Australia – are we indeed in this together?


» Vaccination rate (16+) 1st dose: 95% 2nd dose: 95%

» Vaccination mandate: None – healthcare, education, disability, and aged care only

» Stores open to unvaccinated customers: Yes. Members not required/permitted to ask for vaccination status

» Cases Daily:

16 (21/11/21)


177 (21/11/21)

» Notable restrictions • COVID-19 Safety Plans, Checkin CBR App, face masks not mandatory in retail settings but encouraged, density limits of

1 person per 2 square metres indoors, no density limits for outdoors

» Border restrictions • No restrictions for SA, TAS, WA. In high-risk geographical areas in VIC, NSW, QLD, and NT, further restrictions apply, such as obtaining an exemption from ACT Health, being fully vaccinated, and quarantining.


» Vaccination rate (16+) 1st dose: 94% 2nd dose: 92%

• Vaccination mandate: None – healthcare, aged care, and education only

• Stores open to unvaccinated customers: Yes. Members not required/permitted to ask for vaccination status

» Cases Daily:

180 (21/11/21)


2,696 (21/11/21)

» Notable restrictions • COVID-19 Safety plans recommended Check-in with Service NSW App, no density restrictions for supermarkets. Liquor stores, hardware stores, timber yards must abide by a density limit of 1 person per 2 square metres. Face masks must be worn indoors. Unvaccinated staff must be permitted to work from home if reasonably practicable.

» Border restrictions • No restrictions for NT, SA, TAS, WA. Restrictions for travellers entering from VIC, QLD, and ACT, including self-isolation or testing requirements depending on whether you have visited a place of high risk.


» Vaccination rate (16+) 1st dose: 86% 2nd dose: 73%

• Vaccination mandate:

Vaccination mandate encompassing retail workers, specifically workers who: may come into contact with a vulnerable person, are at risk of infection of COVID-19 during their work; and, have a workplace that is likely to pose a high risk of infection to COVID-19. We have advised that this includes employees in supermarkets, liquor stores, hardware stores, and timber yards. We have released an FAQ and template letter. Employees need their first dose by Saturday, 13 November 2021 and must be fully vaccinated by Saturday, 25 December 2021.

• Stores open to unvaccinated customers: Yes. Members are not required/permitted to ask for vaccination status. The situation may change in the event of a lockout/lockdown

» Cases Daily:

2 (21/11/21)


33 (21/11/21)

» Notable restrictions • Some communities in hard lockdown, where masks are mandatory. Face masks are otherwise not mandatory in retail settings. COVID-19 Safety plans and Territory Check-In mandatory.

» Border restrictions • Only fully vaccinated travellers may enter NT and must fill out a Border Entry Form. They must apply for entry if they are from a COVID-19 red zone or a public exposure site – but there are strict requirements that a retail worker may not meet


» Vaccination rate (16+) 1st dose: 84% 2nd dose: 73%

» Vaccination mandate: None – healthcare workers only

» Stores open to unvaccinated customers: Yes. Members not



NATIONAL required/permitted to ask for vaccination status.

» Cases


» Vaccination rate (16+) 1st dose: 93%


0 (21/11/21)


4 (21/11/21)

» Notable restrictions • COVID-Safe management plans, face masks not required in retail settings, Check-In QLD App

» Border restrictions • Queensland entry pass required for all travellers. Travellers from hotspots may need to complete additional requirements such as quarantine. In cross-border communities, travel across the border for essential work (including retail) is permitted.


» Vaccination rate (16+) 1st dose: 87% 2nd dose: 77%

• Vaccination mandate: None – healthcare, community and aged care and disability, police, and education only.

• Stores open to unvaccinated customers: Yes. Members not required/permitted to ask for vaccination status.

» Cases Daily:

0 (21/11/21)


2 (21/11/21)

» Notable restrictions • Level 1 Restrictions, COVID SAfe Check-in, three people per 4 square metres indoors, COVID Marshals for supermarkets and hardware stores, masks not mandatory in retail settings.

» Border restrictions • Borders to open on Tuesday 23 November 2021 – fully vaccinated travellers can enter except if they are from prescribed places with low vaccination rates, where further restrictions may apply, such as returning a negative test and quarantining. | December 2021 | Edition 8

2nd dose: 85%

• Vaccination mandate: None – healthcare, quarantine, medical and disability only.

• Stores open to unvaccinated customers: Yes. Members not required/permitted to ask for vaccination status.

» Cases Daily:

0 (21/11/21)


1 (21/11/21)

» Notable restrictions • Check-in TAS, face masks not required in retail settings, one person per 2 square metres, physical distancing where practicable, employers are obliged to train and instruct employees on measures imposed in the workplace to minimise the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

» Border restrictions • Face masks are required for travellers. Different requirements for travellers from high-, mediumor low-risk areas. Borders to open on 15 December. Fully vaccinated travellers will not need to quarantine. Returning a negative COVID-19 test or travel registration may also be required.


» Vaccination rate (16+) 1st dose: 93% 2nd dose: 89%

• Vaccination mandate: Vaccination mandate for retail staff. The second dose is required by 26 November.

• Stores open to vaccinated customers: Yes, except for timber yards and hardware stores who must ask for proof of vaccination for customers.

» Cases Daily:

1,275 (21/11/21)


9,632 (21/11/21)

» Notable restrictions • Face masks are still required in retail settings, in publicly accessible areas. Density restrictions of 1 person per 4 square metres applies. Checkin via Service Victoria app and maintenance of COVIDSafe Plan mandatory.

» Border restrictions • Limited restrictions but must apply for a permit from Service Victoria. People in cross-border communities in SA and NSW who are fully vaccinated do not require permits.


» Vaccination rate (16+) 1st dose: 84% 2nd dose: 73%

• Vaccination mandate: Not yet – but has been announced – expected to encompass supermarket and hardware store workers. First dose predicted to be needed by 31 December 2021. Employees and liquor stores and timber yards not expected to be required to be vaccinated unless there is a lockdown or further restrictions are announced.

• Stores open to vaccinated customers: Yes. Members not required/permitted to ask for vaccination status.

» Cases Daily:

1 (21/11/21)


8 (21/11/21)

» Notable restrictions • Check-in via the SafeWA App, COVID Safety plan recommended. Face masks not mandatory in retail settings. No capacity limits.

» Border restrictions • All travellers are required to complete a G2G pass. Upon arrival, you may need to selfquarantine for 14 days and show evidence that you have been fully vaccinated with further restrictions on travellers from medium-high- or extreme risk jurisdictions.



Vaccinations in the workplace On 23 November 2021, MGA WA Director and Roleystone store owner Ross Anile, MGA CEO Jos de Bruin and Metcash WA State Operations Manager Roger Milstein attended a WA Government Department of Health, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Department of Premier and Cabinet meeting. These WA government departments specifically organised the meeting for Food Grocery and Supermarkets. MGA initiated this meeting, which was brought forward due to Premier McGowan’s announcement that all Western Australians will be required to have the first vaccination by 31 December and a second by 31 January 2022. Director for WA Contact Tracing, Benjamin Scalley, indicated Covid vaccinations would become Government-mandated on or before 12 December.

WA Food and Grocery Supermarkets Meeting 23 Nov 21

Please note: Members will not be able to employ, or have on the premises, any unvaccinated staff member from 1 January 2022. Whilst it will be become mandatory on or before 12 December, members are encouraged to strongly urge staff to get their first “jab” as soon as possible to avoid the rush after 12 December. WA Minsiterial Round Table Nov 21

Given our busiest time of year is the forthcoming 5 – 6-week festive period, it is advisable members and staff access their first vaccination at their earliest opportunity. To safeguard members’ future compliance obligations, MGA encourages members to request from staff an “in confidence” copy of their vaccination certificate. MGA will keep members informed of updates.

WA Minsiterial Meeting & discussion Nov 21





MGA Board of Directors News In accordance with MGA’s constitution, 3 MGA Directors must step down each year by way of rotation and seek renomination. Congratulations and many thanks to Lincoln Wymer (VIC & NSW) and Chris dos Santos (SA), who will commence another term as MGA Directors.

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) conducts the MGA Board of Director nomination and ballot process. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) conducts the MGA Board of Director nomination and ballot process. Should there be more than three nominations, the AEC will conduct a ballot with members to “vote” for their preferred three candidates to represent them on MGA’s Board. This year the AEC received four nominations from members for 3 Board positions, so therefore there was to be a ballot to be conducted with members. MGA wishes to confirm that no AEC initiated election is required to take place with members this year. Dedicated and passionate NSW Board Member Carmel Goldsmith decided early last week to withdraw her nomination to be a Director on MGA’s Board, thus leaving three nominations for three vacant Board positions.

MGA outgoing Director Carmel Goldsmith

We thank Carmel very much for her tremendous contribution to our industry and members. Carmel has committed to assisting the MGA Board with various matters when required – thank you, Carmel! Lincoln Wymer

It gives MGA’s Board great pleasure to announce that MGA has a new Board member from Queensland – Terry Slaughter, who, with his wife, Francis, is the owner and operator of a successful food and grocery supermarket in Springfield Lakes. Terry is a very active industry person, always on the lookout to help and assist family and privately owned food and grocery businesses at all levels of government. Terry is a member of the MGAQ Committee and a member of various state committees and boards.

Chris dos Santos

Carmel has been a highly enthusiastic and caring Board Member representing members at every opportunity for better regulations, reducing red tape and eradicating cost burdens. Carmel attended many meetings in Canberra, NSW and local members meetings, always advocating in members’ best interest. Incoming MGA Director Terry Slaughter (centre) with Qld Ministers Cameron Dick and Grace Grace – June 2021 | December 2021 | Edition 8




Debate on Sunday trading heats up with strong views on both sides for change in law A Qld Parliamentary Committee reviewing the Qld Trading Hours Act and the subsequent ceasing of the five year Trading Hours Moratorium in August 2022 has recently conducted public hearings in the FNQ cities of Cairns, Mossman, Mount Isa and Townsville.

MGA sincerely thanks all members and industry stakeholders who attended and gave evidence and insights at these pubic hearings, often having to travel a great distance to attend. MGA, together with members from around Queensland, has opposed the deregulation of trading hours. Deregulation only serves to put family and privately owned food and grocery as well as other retailers out of business. Below is a report by the ABC North Queensland of the recent public hearing conducted in Mount Isa on Sunday 21st November 2021. We thank all our members who were present at the hearing and very passionate small business supporter, State Member of the Qld Parliament Robbie Katter.

So what would happen if all shops were given the green light to operate seven days a week? A parliamentary inquiry is at the tail-end of its investigations into the five-year moratorium on trading laws in the state after canvassing views from stakeholders in Brisbane, Cairns, Mossman, Mount Isa and Townsville. “The trading legislation impacts different locations in different ways, but for outback towns like Mount Isa, the issue of Sunday trading is a major one,” said chair of the Education, Employment and Training Committee Kim Richards. The idea of an extra day for grocery shopping and coffee catch-ups in the rural city of Mount Isa has some residents hooked. “By opening up on Sunday, people would have the increased option to shop locally and get out and about,” Mount Isa local David Hydon said.

Colonial food and Grocery store owner Bob Burrows.

The ABC reports being able to shop wherever you want, whenever you want, is the rightmost people across the country take for granted. But for 21 regional towns in Queensland, businesses are still banned from opening on Sundays.

“It will bring more activation to the CBD areas over the weekends for residents, visitors, and tourists alike, which will result in the more commercial and recreational economy into the city,” deputy mayor of Mount Isa City Council Phil Barwick said.

Major retailers like Coles and Woolworths are closed on Sundays. (ABC North West Queensland: Larissa Waterson).

A full trading week would make a rural town like Mount Isa more attractive to tourists, according to the president of the Mount Isa Tourism Association, Nadia Cowperthwaite. “Mount Isa is a major destination for tourists travelling around outback Queensland, and we have an opportunity to better cater to those who want to come and spend their cash here on the weekend. “The Saturday shopping experience can also be extremely negative: residents and tourists grapple with crowded car parks and long queues,” Ms Cowperthwaite added.

Deadly blow to small business! But the convenience of a Sunday Woolies shop could have grim consequences for the little guys. Robert Burrows, owner of independent grocery store Colonial Convenience relies on his seventh day of trade. “Sunday is our busiest day. If we don’t do well throughout the week, we usually make it up on a Sunday,” he said.




“If trading were to open up to Woolies and Coles, I’d lose those Sunday customers. Business has been hard enough with COVID-19 and all the challenges of being a rural business.

“The ban on Sunday for the big retailers provides crucial trading opportunities to small businesses who are otherwise constantly outcompeted,” “Every small, independent business that is choked out by market monopolisation is a nail in the coffin for local jobs, economic development and independent enterprise, he said.”

More than money Michelle Russell says her bakery business would suffer 20 per cent losses with Sunday trading. (ABC North West Queensland: Larissa Waterson).

Owner of Brumby’s bakery, Michelle Russell, said a seven-day trading week could run her out of business. “We would suffer major losses,” she said.

Ms Russell and Mr Burrows said the value of small businesses to local communities seemed to be overlooked in the debate. “We’re more than just money. We’re part of the community,” Ms Burrows said. “The bakery puts about $2,000 into the pockets of high school kids each month, and that’s just from our Sunday trade.

“We do that not because we have to, but because we want to. “We’re involved in local community groups and sporting teams; they always come and see me for a little bit of sponsorship here and there, which I’m glad to do,” he said. Following its final public hearing in Townsville on Monday, Parliamentary Committee Chair Ms Richards said the committee had a lot to consider in preparing its recommendations to be submitted by 31st January 2022. “There’s been some very interesting data that’s been put forward, so we’ve got a lot to take away and digest as we prepare our report,” Ms Richards said. MGA will keep members informed of any further progress regarding this matter – thanks to everyone in Qld for your support with this matter! Source ABC North Qld

“On Sundays alone, we donated $17,000 worth of goods last year,” she said.

L-R Local Maroochydore State Member of Parliament, Fiona Simpson MP and Sunshine Coast Airport CEO, Andrew Brodie

Mount Isa stakeholders share their views in a forum. (ABC North West Queensland: Larissa Waterson.

“We would lose 20 per cent of our business, and we can’t afford to do that with the wages we pay on a Sunday,” she said. Member for Traeger Robbie Katter said that, while he understood the convenience offered by Sunday trade, residents needed to be aware of the detrimental consequences. | December 2021 | Edition 8

Bob Burrows says if Sunday trading were to open up, he would lose a majority of his clients to big retailers. (ABC North West Queensland: Larissa Waterson).

Mr Burrows employs 40 per cent, Indigenous staff.



Queensland Trading Hours Act Review The Qld Trading Hours Act is currently being reviewed by a Parliamentary Committee (6 members of Parliament) before the five year Trading Hours Moratorium ceases in August 2022.

The submission, consultation and public hearing process have now been completed. MGA thanks all members who attended the four recent Public Hearings held in FNQ recently. Your voices were heard! MGA, in its submission, has called for a number of actions to be taken, including

» Extension of the moratorium on section 21 applications by non-exempt stores for extended trading hours for an additional ten years to 2032,

» repealing the current 24 / 7 Trading Hours in the Port Douglas and Mossman area to reflect other Qld jurisdictions.

» Altering the definition of independent retail shops to instead identify small business enterprises by organisational structure, or further increasing the threshold of 30 employees on the shop floor at any one time, or 100 employees where a number of shops are operated throughout the state to 40 and 200 respectively: and

» Only allowing the Queensland Government and not the QIRC to alter or set permitted retail trading hours across the state.

» Seeking support from the Qld Government to assist family and privately owned food and grocery businesses in developing a point of difference. To facilitate a mechanism for a vibrant local ecosystem of fresh and gourmet foods and locally produced wines, beers and spirits to build a point of difference from the chains to better compete on a fairer playing field. The Parliamentary Committee has met with the Qld Industrial Relations Department on Monday 29th November to ask questions about the current Trading Hours Act and its fitness for purpose. They will then gather and collate all the evidence in the form of reports for their consideration and make their decisions, along with recommendations, to the Qld Parliament.

The Committee is due to complete their report by 31st January 2022 and will table their report to the Parliament in the next sitting. Parliament will review and debate the recommendations and respond to the Committee with any further questions and queries. Once the Qld Parliament is satisfied, new legislation will be drafted to make changes to the Qld Trading Hours Act sometime in the first half of 2022. MGA will keep all members informed of any further information as it arises.





Unpaid parental leave This article provides a brief snapshot of unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act. Who is entitled to unpaid parental leave? Full-time, part-time, and regular casual employees may take unpaid parental leave under the Fair Work Act (‘the Act’). Under the Act, an employee does not have to make a request for unpaid parental leave but simply provides notice of taking such leave to the member. The employee is required to give at least 10 weeks’ notice before starting the leave or notice as soon as practicable after starting the leave.

When can the leave begin? In the most common situation, which is for employees who plan to give birth, the period of leave may start up to 6 weeks before the expected birth of the child, or earlier if you and the employee agree. The leave must not start later than the birth of the child. If a pregnant employee works during the 6-week period before the expected birth date of the child and if the member is concerned as to their ability to perform their role safely as a result of the pregnancy, the member is entitled to ask the employee for a medical certificate stating that the employee is fit for work and whether it is safe for them to work in their current position. Please note that different rules will apply if the employee taking the leave is not the person giving birth to the child, or if an employee’s partner also intends to take leave, or if the leave is with regards to an adoption. We encourage members to contact the Legal and IR Team for assistance. | December 2021 | Edition 8

How long is the leave period? The employee’s unpaid parental leave must be taken in a single period of up to 12 months unless it is flexible unpaid parental leave. Once the employee gives notice that they wish to take unpaid parental leave, members should confirm both the start and end date of the leave and record this on the employee’s file. We can assist you with drafting a letter to an employee to remind them of their obligations and confirm the start and end date of their leave. By agreement and with at least 4 weeks’ notice in writing, you and the employee can agree to extend the current period of unpaid parental leave for up to a further 12 months immediately after the end of the first period. By agreement, you can also agree with the employee to reduce their period of unpaid parental leave. An employee may attend work through ‘keep in touch days’ during this period of leave in order to facilitate their return to work after their period of parental leave.

Should I keep the employee’s role open for them? Yes. Your employee has a ‘return to work guarantee’ under the Act. Once the employee’s unpaid parental leave has finished, you must return the employee to their previous position, or, if that position no longer exists, an available position that is similar in status and pay. Generally, this would mean a position at the same Award Level with the same hours.

Can I hire a replacement employee? Members can hire an employee to replace the employee who is on unpaid parental leave. Members are required to inform the replacement employee that their position is temporary to cover another employee’s absence on parental leave and that the employee on leave will be returning. Before you hire this new employee, you should inform them of the following:

» Their engagement to work for you is temporary; and

» The employee on leave has the right to reduce or extend their period of leave; and

» If the employee ceases to have care of the child for whatever reason, you may need that employee to return to work, and the replacement employee will no longer be required.

Can an employee also take annual leave during this time? Yes. By agreement, an employee on unpaid parental leave may take annual leave as well. Taking paid annual leave while on parental leave will not extend the period of parental leave taken. However, an employee on unpaid parental leave is not entitled to take any paid personal/carer’s leave (sick leave). They are also not entitled to compassionate leave unless there has been a stillbirth or the death of the child.



What about paid parental leave? Paid parental leave is not available under the Fair Work Act. You may have an existing agreement or contract which provides an employee with paid parental leave. If so, you should refer to the terms of that agreement. Otherwise, obtaining payment whilst on parental leave is up to the employee, and they may do so through the Government Parental Leave Pay Scheme. If the employee does claim this payment, Services Australia may contact you to confirm that the employee is on unpaid parental leave and to provide you with details of anything further that you need to do. Services Australia may pay the employee directly or release the funds to you to pass on to your employee. Please find more information from Services Australia here: https://www. business/services/centrelink/paidparental-leave-scheme-employers/ what-you-need-know/your-role-scheme We hope this brief snapshot of unpaid parental leave under the Act will assist you. However, implementing unpaid parental leave for some employees may be challenging. Should you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact MGA TMA on 1800 888 479.


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Annualised Salaries Annualised salaries are a common practice in the retail industries, especially for higher-end roles, including managers. It is defined as an annual arrangement, where an employee is paid a fixed amount every week, fortnight, tri-weekly or monthly. The amount tends to remain consistent and is a proportion of the yearly salary.

This arrangement has numerous benefits, as it provides administrative ease and assists the business’ payroll, predictability, budgeting and financial management. Additionally, it avoids having to calculate complex pay rates in accordance with a Modern Award or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, each pay period. Although advantageous, many pitfalls must be properly considered to mitigate any future underpayment claims. There is a common misconception that an annual salary figure is discretionary and left up to the business to decide on or to even avoid having to pay penalties and overtime rates. Unfortunately, that is inaccurate and does not reflect the current legal position. An annual salary figure must manually project all entitlements and payments that an employee will be receiving during a financial year. In essence, the figure must ensure that the employee is not receiving less or being underpaid during the contract period, an amount that they would have received under the normal terms of the Modern Award or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for all work performed.

An example annual salary under the General Retail Industry Award 2020 must include the following per week:

• ordinary hours; • after hours (after 6pm); • overtime; • weekends; • public holidays; • any applicable allowances; • leave loading; • superannuation; and • any additional payment in excess of the Modern Award to ensure that the annual salary remains consistent or to cover additional hours worked beyond the agreement. Like standard employment contracts for employees receiving the base hourly rate under the Award, employment contracts for salaried employees should stipulate the expected hours of work, the status of employment, classification, probationary period, applicable policies and breaks, etc. An effective employment contract for a salaried employee will also include an appropriate ‘offset’ clause, enabling the member to ‘offset’ sums paid according to the salary arrangement against entitlements owed under the Award. Members should note that ‘offsetting’ such sums may only take place within each pay period and as such ensure that the sum paid to a salaried

employee each pay period is sufficiently high enough to cover pay for all hours of work and other entitlements owed to the employee for that pay period. Annual salary arrangements should first be discussed with the employee(s) in question before an agreement or employment contract is drawn up. Once the details are determined, MGA can assist you in drafting the annual salary contract and advise you about the appropriate classification and applicable rate of pay for your employee or even review current annual salary arrangements in place. At the conclusion of every financial year, the annual salary figure should be cross-referenced with the Modern Award or Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and National Employment Standards to ensure that the remuneration and entitlements are at the same or higher level than the applicable instrument. Please do not hesitate to contact the MGA TMA Legal and IR Team on 1800 888 479.

Should you require any assistance please contact

MGA’s Legal and Industrial Relations team on

1800 888 479 | December 2021 | Edition 8

(option 1)



Redundancy An employment can come to an end by way of a genuine redundancy. Under the Fair Work Act, a redundancy is considered a genuine redundancy if the following requirements are met: » The employer no longer requires the employee’s job to be performed by anyone in the business because of the changes in the operational requirements of the employer’s business;

» The employer has complied with any obligation in a modern award or enterprise agreement that applies to the employee’s employment to consult about the redundancy.

» It is not reasonable in all circumstances to redeploy the employee in the employer’s enterprise or the enterprise of an associated entity of the employer. If redundancy is not found to be genuine, the business may be found to have unfairly dismissed the employee.

1. Job no longer required to be performed Firstly, for a redundancy to be genuine, it must be shown that the position by the employee must no longer be performed by anyone because of changes in the operational requirements of the employer’s enterprise after the employee’s dismissal.

The key to a redundancy is the disappearance of a job or a position. In some cases, an employer may be able to dismiss an employee and distribute their work to those who remain. For example, a genuine redundancy may be satisfied if the position is altered from a full-time position to a part-time position. This is because the ‘full time’ role is no longer available. An employer may also replace a worker’s job with a new position that involves some but not all of the employee’s former duties. A genuine redundancy may not be found where after the dismissal, there is still a position with essentially the same duties or responsibilities to be filled by someone else. This factor may be hard to establish if the employee in question is dismissed.

2. Consultation requirements under the modern award Secondly, most awards (such as the General Retail Industry Award 2020 or the Timber Industry Award 2020) or various enterprise agreements contain a clause which requires an employer to consult with the employee about the redundancy. Generally, before making an employee’s role redundant, the employer must give the employee written notice of the redundancy and engage in discussions with the employees about the details of the redundancy and when this would take effect. During this consultation period, the employer must also promptly consider any matters raised by the employees about the redundancy.

3. Redeployment Lastly, a redundancy will not be considered genuine if it would have been reasonable to redeploy the employee in the employer’s enterprise or the enterprise of an associated entity of the employer. If the employer considers there is another alternative role that the employee could perform in the business, then this role may be offered to the employee, even if it is a lowerpaying role.

Redundancy Payment If, after the consultation process, the employer decides to make the employee’s position redundant, or the employee rejects the offer of redeployment on reasonable grounds, then the employer will need to provide the employee with notice of the termination on grounds of genuine redundancy and pay the employee redundancy pay (if they are entitled to it). The amount of redundancy an employee receives is based on their continuous period of service with the employer. The Fair Work Act provides that there are situations where an employee is not generally entitled to redundancy pay, including if the employer is a small business employer, the employee has worked for the employer for less than 12 months, the employee is a casual employee, or that the employment is terminated on the grounds of serious misconduct. If you have any questions regarding redundancy, please contact our MGA TMA Legal and IR Team on 1800 888 479.





Fair Work Act 2009: New National Employment Standard for requests for casual conversion Our members were informed of the new National Employment Standard for offers of casual conversion in our September edition of the IR Magazine. Further to this, in March 2021, the new National Employment Standard inserted into the Fair Work Act 2009 (the Act) also created obligations for all federal system Members in respect of requests from employees for casual conversion. Eligibility criteria for casual conversion – when is an employee entitled to request conversion? Casual employees are entitled to request conversion to permanent full time or part-time employment if they: 1. have been employed by the Member for a period of at least 12 months; 2. during at least the last 6 months of the 12-month period, the employee has worked a regular pattern of hours on an ongoing basis; 3. this regular pattern of hours can be converted to full or parttime work without significant adjustment; 4. the employee has not already refused an offer of casual conversion provided by the Member within the 6-month period to the request; 5. the Member has not given the employee notice that an offer of conversion will not be made on reasonable grounds within the 6-month period to the request; 6. the Member has not given the employee a response to refuse a previous request for conversion made within the 6-month period | December 2021 | Edition 8

to the request; and 7. if the Member is not a small business employer, the request was made after 16 April 2021 (for employees employed on or before 26 March 2020) or after 21 days of the employee’s 12-month anniversary (for employees employed after 26 March 2020).

Requirements of a request for casual conversion The request made by an employee must be:

• made in writing; • state a request to convert to equivalent part or full-time hours worked to part or full-time employment; and

• be given to the Member. The Member must respond to the request within 21 days of provision and state whether the request is granted or refused.

Must a Member accept a request for casual conversion? If the casual employee is eligible to make such a request for conversion, the Member is required to accept this request unless:

• the Member consults with the employee first; and as reasonable grounds not to • h accept the request

Accepting a request for casual conversion After providing a response to the employee stating that the request is granted, the Member must then discuss the following with the employee:

• whether the conversion is to full or part-time;

• what the hours of work are after the conversion; and

• what date the conversion takes effect. After this discussion, the Member must give a written notice to the employee within 21 days from their request that specifies whether the conversion is to full time or part-time employment, what the hours of work are after the conversion, and what date the conversion takes effect. The date of conversion must be the first day of the employee’s first full pay period starting after the written notice is given, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon. It is advisable for the parties to enter into a new employment contract that formalises the conversion.

What are reasonable grounds not to accept a request for conversion? The Employer must also consult with the employee if considering refusing a request based on reasonable grounds. Reasonable grounds must be based on



known or reasonably foreseeable facts at the time of refusing the request. The below is a non-exhaustive list of example reasonable grounds:

• acceptance would require a significant adjustment to the employee’s hours of work in order for the employee to be employed as a full-time employee or parttime employee;

• the employee’s position will cease to exist in the 12-month period after the request is made;

• the hours of work which the employee is required to perform will be significantly reduced in the 12-month period after the request is made;

• there will be a significant change in either or both of the following in the 12-month period after the request is made: o the days on which the employee’s

hours of work are required to be performed, and/or o t he times at which the employee’s hours of work are required to be performed, which cannot be accommodated within the days or times the employee is available to work during that period; and

• granting the request would not comply with a recruitment or selection process required by or under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or a Territory. If there are reasonable grounds not to accept the request for conversion and the Member has consulted with the employee on this decision, the Member can decide not to accept the request of casual conversion from the employee. The Member must then: • give a written notice to the

employee that specifies that the Member will not accept the request for casual conversion, and detailing the reasons for not accepting the request; and

• provide this notice/response within 21 days after the request is given to the Member. If the employee’s request for conversion is rejected on a reasonable ground, the employee can still exercise their discretion to request conversion again any time after the initial request. For each subsequent request, the Member should reassess the employee’s eligibility to make each request and grant the request unless a reasonable ground exists. If you require assistance in responding to requests for casual conversion, please contact our MGA TMA Legal and IR Team on 1800 888 479.





MGA very disappointed with RBA’s lack of direction over card fees The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has not gone far enough to ensure MGA members do not pay higher than necessary fees on debit card transactions. MGA is the peak body in Australia for family and privately owned food and grocery, supermarkets, liquor stores and timber and hardware businesses. MGA estimates that more than $14b in members sales are transacted via debit card, making it one of the highest costs to doing business. These extreme costs are holding members back from employing more people, giving staff more hours and investing in their businesses.

In a recent meeting with the Governor of the RBA, Philip Lowe, MGA, together with other industry bodies, urged the Reserve Bank to mandate least-cost routing earlier this year. Disappointingly, there was nothing of this nature mentioned in the recent RBA report.

The RBA recently released its conclusions paper for its review of retail payments regulation. It expects all card issuers (Banks) with more than $4bn in debit transactions each year to keep issuing dual-network debit cards (DNDC). It also expects banks and payment facilitators to offer and promote least-cost routing functionality to MGA members.

MGA has been calling for mandating least cost routing as the default, and still, we are a long way off achieving that.

Dual-network cards allow debit payments to be processed via either the domestic scheme, eftpos, or international debit networks - MasterCard or Visa. Least-cost routing ensures transactions are processed through whichever network is cheapest for members. | December 2021 | Edition 8

The RBA report does not indicate that “least cost routing is mandated as the default, just that it needs to be available. In other words, nothing has changed, and our members continue to pay exorbitant merchant payment fees. MGA is a member of a “merchant payments fees” task force and will continue to drive toward eftpos, and that least cost routing is available to all members on a default basis at the point of sale.




More decisive action needed on small business payments says, Ombudsman Since 2011 MGA has been strongly advocating the Federal Government, Treasury, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for a fairer and more competitive debit card payment system. Currently, MGA members pay prorated far greater merchant payment fees for card transactions than major competitors, leaving them at a distinct commercial disadvantage.

MGA has advocated for the major banks to activate least cost routing at the terminals, allowing our members to choose and access the cheapest, most efficient debit card transaction mechanism at the point of purchase.

The Reserve Bank said it expected payment providers to “offer and promote least-cost routing” by the end of 2022 but falls short of mandating this as the default option and provided no explicit regulatory requirement.

Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson and Kate Carnell before him were staunch advocates also. Below is a media release from Bruce, which reflect MGA’s position from 10 years ago!

Debit cards are now the most frequently used payment method in Australia, and the Reserve Bank said that 90 per cent of debit cards are dual-network debit cards (DNDCs). Meaning they allow payment via either eftpos or one of the international debit schemes (such as Debit Mastercard or Visa Debit).

Small business owners and leaders have every right to be frustrated by the Reserve Bank’s review of retail payments regulations, says the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson. While some progress is being made, it is disappointing the recent RBA report falls well short of delivering the vital changes small and family businesses have been crying out for. “More decisive action is urgently needed to stop small businesses and family enterprises paying more than they need to for payment services,” Mr Billson said.

The widespread use of “tap-and-go” and other contactless electronic payments such as smartphones means customers are no longer offered a choice to choose CHQ or SAV from the typically lowercost eftpos network. It defaults to the international network that can have higher costs for merchants – MGA Members. Mandating least-cost routing as the default would mean the cheapest payment method would be available to merchants.

“For too long, small businesses have been slugged with unnecessarily high fees from credit card networks when there is a cheaper option,” Mr Billson said. “The Reserve Bank could have and should have done more after years of ‘urging banks to do the right thing’ which has resulted in an inadequate response and poor access and uptake of least-cost routing for small merchants. “We are keen to work with sector participants to make least-cost routing the mandated default option for all small business payment methods, especially smart devices used as touchless payment tools.” The Reserve Bank review also said the eight biggest card issuers would be expected to continue to issue Dual Network Debit Cards (DNDCs) and called for this to include all forms of payment, including mobile-wallet providers. However, there is no enforcement behind this sentiment, and the report does not require other providers of debit cards

continued >




with a smaller market share to provide DNDCs, which will cause confusion in the market- place by creating two sets of rules. Mr Billson said the small business sector would welcome the Reserve Bank’s finding that it would be “in the public interest” for buy now, pay later (BNPL) providers to remove their no-surcharge rules but noted there was no action to enforce this or help small businesses if they receive push back from BNPL operators. “Small businesses are currently forced to absorb the cost of BNPL offerings,

and with often slim margins, this places pressure on businesses’ bottom-line. The rapid growth in the BNPL industry means it will no longer be an optional extra for a small business, and they will be significantly disadvantaged unless they are able to pass on the surcharges, “Mr Billson said. Mr Billson said he was heartened that the Reserve Bank acknowledged it was important to reduce the cost to small and medium-sized merchants of accepting card payments but much more was needed to deliver on this.

system that provides access to affordable and efficient means for small business owners to accept payments is crucial to their viability,” Mr Billson said. We thank Bruce Billson for his support and commitment to assisting MGA members with this all-important longrunning matter! MGA Will keep members updated with any further progress.

“A safe and robust retail payments

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What is a Small Business in Australia? It is interesting to note the very many definitions of a small business in Australia. MGA regards all members as small and family businesses, no matter the size or the quantum of employees. The reasons are very clear - What affects a business with ten employees will undoubtedly affect a business with 200 – 300 team members. Prorate the commercial risks are far greater for a larger business than a small one, as the same matters and issues are exacerbated. MGA submits to the Small, Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman suggestion that a business with 200 employees should be regarded as a small business. MGA would like to drive for consistency with Government agencies, with some organisations listed below to have the following criteria to define a small business. 1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (for business classification purposes) According to the ABS, A Small Business employs fewer than 20 people. Additional subcategories include:

• Non-employing business – include sole traders and partnerships with no employees in addition to the business owners.

• Micro-businesses – these businesses employ between 1 and 4 people. This category includes non-employing businesses.

• Other small businesses – these businesses employ between 5 and 19 employees. | December 2021 | Edition 8

According to ABS numbers (from 2016), small enterprises employ over 97% of the people employed in Australia. The breakdown of employment by business definition is:


Total employees

Percentage of total

Small (0-19 employees)



Medium (20-199)

Medium (20-199)


Large (200+)



These figures show us that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) employ 99.8 of all workers employed by private entities in Australia. To put these numbers into perspective, 61 per cent of Australian businesses by number are sole traders who don’t have employees. Having 1 to 4 employees, micro businesses account for 27 per cent of businesses in Australia. 2. The ATO’s definition (for tax concession purposes) For receiving tax concessions, the Australian Tax Office defines a small business as an entity that has an annual turnover (excluding GST) of less than $10 million. For financial years before 2016-2017, this amount was $2 million in annual turnover. Eligibility for government grants is also subject to criteria, usually including revenue. Other factors can include the number of employees and the location of the business (for state grants).

3. ASIC’s definition (for business registration purposes) According to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), ‘small proprietary companies’ need to meet two of the three following characteristics. These include having:

• An annual turnover of less than $25 million

• Fewer than 50 employees at the end of the financial year

• Consolidated gross assets valued at less than $12.5 million at the end of the financial year. 4. FWO Definition (for the purposes of Industrial Relations) The Small business Fair Dismissal Code defines a small business as one that has less than 15 employees. No wonder there is confusion when not one Government agency can agree on a common small business definition.







New CEO for Carlton & United Breweries Danny Celoni has been appointed as the new CEO of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) and will commence in the role in February 2022. Mr Celoni joins the business from PepsiCo, where he is CEO of the Australia, NZ and South Pacific business.

“Danny has built a formidable reputation across the beverages industry in Australia and Asia over 25 years. Danny’s proven ability to successfully run large and complex businesses, across alcohol and non-alcohol, was critical in our decision to recruit him to become our new CEO of CUB,” said Robert Iervasi, Group CEO, Asahi Beverages Oceania. Mr Celoni commenced his career in the drinks industry with Diageo in 1996, where he rose, over a 17-year career, to become Commercial Director for Australia, NZ and South Pacific. In his time with Diageo, he also held senior executive roles in Singapore, Korea and Thailand. “CUB is a great business, with an unbelievable portfolio, and we couldn’t be more pleased that Danny will be running it. With Danny’s forward-thinking approach to business, he’s going to make a very significant contribution to building our teams, delivering on our strategies for growth, and forging great relationships with our customers and partners,” Mr Iervasi said.

Mr Celoni will also join the Asahi Beverages Oceania Executive Leadership Team, reporting to Mr Iervasi. Mr Celoni said, “It’s an honour to be given the opportunity to lead CUB and join Asahi Beverages. With its unrivalled beverage portfolio and commitment to innovation, I’m excited by the strategic direction and growth opportunities for the business. “Danny has built a formidable reputation across the beverages industry in Australia and Asia over 25 years. Danny’s proven ability to successfully run large and complex businesses, across alcohol and non-alcohol, was critical in our decision to recruit him to become our new CEO of CUB,” said Robert Iervasi, Group CEO, Asahi Beverages Oceania. “I’m particularly looking forward to working with CUB’s customers and partners as we seek to navigate the evolving COVID-normal environment and the other challenges that lie ahead.” Peter Filipovic will continue as CEO until Mr Celoni’s commencement in February. | September 2021 | Edition 5

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James Brindley calls time on 27 year Lion career Lion has announced executive changes, with James Brindley to call time on a 27-year career with the brewing company, the last 12 of which as managing director. When he leaves the chair at the end of this year, he will be replaced by Diageo executive David Smith.

David Smith New Lion MD

Lion CEO Stuart Irvine said: “On behalf of the entire Lion business, I’d like to thank James for his outstanding leadership and commitment to Lion’s people, customers and communities. Over his 27-year career with Lion, James has made an incredible contribution to both our business and the wider industry. “James has delivered 10 years of above-target performance for Lion Australia, led the acquisitions of Boag’s and Little Creatures, Lion’s share in Four Pillars and most recently, the proposed acquisition of Fermentum Group. “As always, but over the past 18-months in particular, James has demonstrated true partnership through the most challenging period our industry has seen. I know that our customers will join me in thanking James for his support during this time.” Outgoing managing director James Brindley said: “After many years being part of this wonderful industry, I have decided it is time to call last shout and move on. I am grateful to the incredible people I have had the privilege to work with, not only colleagues but especially our customers and community partners.” | September 2021 | Edition 5

James Brindley Retiring Lion MD

In announcing the appointment of David Smith, who joins Lion from Diageo where he is currently Managing Director, Southern Europe, Irvine said: “David is a highly respected industry leader and already a familiar face to many of our Australian partners. He is committed to growing businesses through patient investment, enduring partnerships and motivating his teams to deliver outstanding outcomes for customers. We look forward to welcoming him back home to Australia and to Lion in January.” David Smith said: “I am delighted to be joining Lion, a business I have long admired for its leading brands, great culture and fantastic team. I look forward to working with the Lion team to create growth for the business and our customers.” Lion Press Release

The MGA Liquor Committee would like to thank James for his support of the independent liquor sector and his work as a board member of Drinkwise Australia for eleven years. As a board member and past Chairman of the Brewers Association of Australia and as a founding council member of Alcohol Beverages Australia. He is also a board member of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.




Edgemill Group extends flagship vodka brand with Salted Caramel NPD Australian spirits manufacturer Edgemill Group has utilised a new product-development strategy to extend the organisation’s flagship vodka brand by supplementing the flavoured product range with a cocktail-centric salted caramel offering. Arktika Salted Caramel Vodka is sweet and decadent, a perfect balance of subtle saltiness and luscious vanilla, caramel, and toffee flavours.

George Arapidis, the manufacture’s head of research and development, explained that the decision to extend the product range was based on current market insights and trends, most significantly, consumers increasingly entertaining and making cocktails at home. Moreover, Zach Wilson, the manufacture’s general manager believes that the new addition adds depth to an already diverse assortment of flavours, which includes Arktika original, vanilla, raspberry, and lime-lime vodkas. Also, he revealed that each product has been specifically designed to complement cocktails or mixed in simple serves. In addition, the team engaged renowned Geelong-based mixologist and venue owner (The 18th Amendment and Manhattan bars) Gorge Camorra, to craft signature cocktails and simple serves for consumers to create and enjoy at home. Further, Zach indicated that Arktika’s product range provides Australian consumers with a 100% Australia made, viable alternative to the market-leading vodka brands in the flavoured category. Furthermore, Edgemill Group, in collaboration with its newly established distribution, sales and marketing division Edgemill Liquor Brands, will continue to support its Australian independent retail partners with a strong commercial offering and competitive pricing. Arktika Salted Caramel Vodka will be available to retailers in mid-late January 2022, however, pre-orders and expressions of interest are welcome, so please contact your Edgemill sales representative for more information.




Insurance industry moves to ease business struggles Rising premiums and hurdles faced by businesses and consumers trying to buy insurance have triggered national inquiries in the past couple of years and calls for action have recently risen to a crescendo. SME businesses in catastrophe-prone areas have been particularly hard hit, with holiday and amusement parks finding it almost impossible to find underwriters willing to take on their risks. Other sectors are also finding cover hard to obtain. As brokers we’ve been right alongside out clients, and it has been tough. Insurers have been badly affected by massive natural catastrophe claims and pandemic-related issues, while the investments they rely on for much of their revenue – and insurers are among Australia’s largest investors – are producing crushingly low returns. This has caused a rebalancing of the insurers’ appetite for risk, which is why negotiating policies for new risks or higher-exposure risks have been so frustrating. So it’s good to be able to note that the insurance industry has decided it’s time for some fresh thinking, with availability of cover a vital requirement not only for businesses but also the economic future of the country.

been accepted, and action is underway to help address some of the most challenging issues facing SMEs. A new Business Advisory Council will work through availability and affordability issues with the industry, focusing particularly on professional indemnity, public liability and business interruption cover, looking at market “gaps” and evaluating risks and potential solutions. The advisory council will liaise with the Insurance Council board, which includes the CEOs of Australia’s largest insurers, with our national body, the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA), also having a role to play.

The Insurance Council of Australia this year embarked on a broad-ranging review, commissioning widely respected former regulator John Trowbridge to examine the commercial market, with the aim of finding practical solutions to affordability and availability problems.

The Trowbridge report notes that in the current hardening market there’s no one-size-fits-all solution and collaboration and goodwill between the insurance industry, business sectors, and governments will be required.

His report, released in September, offered recommendations that have

Other proposals include giving plenty of notice before renewals when major | December 2021 | Edition 8

changes are looming, providing more details on reasons for significant premium increases and making sure any mitigation measures or changes that could improve the situation are outlined. The review also recommends a working group, drawing on both insurers and customers, to look at simplifying and streamlining definitions and documentation for SME policies to make the process easier for the SME sector, and of course our clients. The activity underway may take some time to deliver benefits and improvements, but the insurers say pressures faced by small businesses are top of the joint agenda. As brokers, our role in assisting with solutions, providing feedback and in helping our clients navigate the way ahead has been particularly recognised. If you would like a review of your supermarket insurance, please contact your local Adroit Risk Adviser on 1300 MY ADROIT

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Illicit Tobacco - Victoria In Australia, MGA’s members around Australia lose over $300m in legitimate tobacco sales per annum owing to illicit and illegal tobacco products being distributed and sold without any policing controls whatsoever. After much lobbying and advocacy, over many years, from MGA, MGA’s members and other industry organisations, the Victorian Government has announced a full review of illicit tobacco availability in Victoria and will focus on: 1. the current regulatory framework for tobacco in Victoria, with a focus on the regulation of illicit tobacco; • this includes the licensing, compliance and regulatory powers relevant to sales of all tobacco

The Minister has requested the review be completed by April 2022, which is relatively swift by government standards. Whilst this is an immediate and urgent matter that we would like resolved urgently it is unfortunate the machinery off Government is very slow. This is despite many members businesses being at risk of losing legitimate tobacco sales and losing substantial sales turnover to fund their businesses. MGA will keep members posted as further information comes to light.

2. the regulatory frameworks applying in other relevant jurisdictions; 3. recommendations for improvement, having regard to the nature of illicit tobacco sales and the parties involved; 4. possible pathways to implement these recommendations, including whether new legislation and/or regulation is required; 5. the costs and benefits of the preferred approach; and 6. funding considerations include possible sources of funds that may be available to assist regulation of tobacco production and sales. The Minister for Regulatory Reform, Danny Pearson MP, has announced there will be a Terms of Reference and has invited parties to lodge submissions stating their views. A formal consultation plan will be released soon; however, it was pleasing to see Minister Pearson’s request to the Commissioner for Regulatory Reform, Anna Cronin, encouraging consultation with relevant stakeholders, including organisations such as MGA, retailers and the tobacco industry.

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‘Tis the season - building a new team We are now entering the traditional busy season. And the challenges food business face includes supply shortages, supply chain blockages, not to mention employee shortages. These factors not only challenge the retail industry but all other industries. Now and in the next few months, the demand to recruit new team members will increase to cover the shortages now and in the summer period. Businesses are already currently under pressure with employee shortages. Here are some tips to assist in recruiting your next superstar. Set time out to recruit- this may be the hardest step for any retailer. However, taking time to plan for recruitment and interviewing potential candidates will save time, effort and money in the long run

Hire for attitude and train for skill- you can teach anyone how to stock shelves and use the POS machine. What you cannot teach them is their work ethic. Use your interview time wisely and have a conversation with the potential person. Even walk and talk in the store, see how they react in the workplace environment. Do group interviews- here you can see how people react in a social environment and with each other- it’s a good indicator of how they will perform in a team. In group interviews, you can just do a simple retail role play or troubleshooting scenario. Use your social platform- not just online and other traditional methods of recruitment. Reach out to the local community, friends of friends. Spread the word that you are hiring. Put signage on your floor! You will never know when your next ‘employee of the month’ will be walking through your doors Once you have recruited your new superstars, the next best step to ensure you retain your employees is by having an induction program/plan. A well-thought-out employee induction program not only saves your money and time in the long term but avoids money being spent on covering absences and hiring replacements. When businesses do not provide a structured induction, it means the new employees are left to pick up the necessary information on their own. This can lead to new employees not learning the “right” way of doing things, loss of productivity, and serious issues such as safety and other compliance breaches | December 2021 | Edition 8




“New employees who are part of a well-structured onboarding orientation program are 69% more likely to remain at a company for up to three years. A poor onboarding program often leads to losing an employee due to their experiences of being confused, feeling alienated, or lacking confidence.” Benefits of induction programs include:

• Workplace Safety • Increased retention rate • Improved employee morale • Increased productivity • Understanding of the laws that they need to operate/ perform to Your induction program should include:

• Policies and procedures • Face-to-face introduction to key staff • Tour of the workplace, pointing out all important facilities • Safety and Emergency procedures • Instructions on how to complete day-to-day tasks in a safe manner

5 Reasons Induction Training is Essential Workplace Culture New employees need to align and understand your workplace culture. By doing so, they will ‘fit’ into the team and work more cohesively.

Compliance Train employees about your business policies on safety, bullying, sexual harassment, and other critical policies. This will help to protect the business by preventing incidents and ensuring your business is compliant Retention Inductions programs help employees to adjust to their new role, make a smoother transition into the business. This ultimately helps retention of employees and saves on recruitment costs, and helps employees to feel supported. Productivity Employees learn the right way of doing things from the beginning, instead of being shown shortcuts or the other processes that may hinder not enhance Saves Time & Money Saves your business time and money in the long term as a well-developed induction program can be easily replicated for each new employee. Here at MGA Industry Training, we have a range of courses that suits your needs, ranging from Food Safety, RSA, Tobacco, Workplace health, and safety. Check out all our courses on offer at:, head to Training. Any questions on Training don’t hesitate to call our friendly training department on 1800 888 479 option #2




Building with timber in bushfire- prone areas With the summer season now upon us, bushfires are something that people in bushfire-prone areas need to consider. Following on from previous tragic bushfires, standards have been adjusted for the building/re-building of homes in areas prone to bushfires. In conjunction with Wood Products Victoria, we held a webinar on 11 November covering Building with Timber in Bushfire Prone Areas. It provided attendees with an overview of the AS 3959 standard, State variations and gave guidance as to how timber products can be used in accordance with the Standard and what options are available for the use of timber in bushfire-prone areas. They also had the opportunity to ask questions of Boris Iskra, who is incredibly knowledgeable with all things timber and especially

Working in Heat and Sun Are you and your team already slip, slop, slapping? Our members need to be aware of working in the heat and sun with staff working out in timber yards during summer.

• Stay hydrated; you should drink every 15-20 minutes

• Be conscious of your caffeine and alcohol intake; it can affect your hydration

• Dress appropriately, cool, and loose-fitting materials are best

• Apply sunscreen; remember that sweat can wash away sunscreen

• Seek cover if possible • Think about what you eat; you • Sweat is the body’s way of cooling down; if you stop sweating, it’s a sign of heatstroke

• Put a damp towel in the freezer and place it around your neck to cool you down


Keep an eye out for the signs of heat exhaustion, heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, goosebumps on the skin, muscle cramps and headache.

If you missed the webinar but would like to catch up, please visit the members’ area of our website for the recording. https://www.mga.asn. au/webinar/building-with-timber-inbushfire-prone-areas

Heat exhaustion happens before the more serious condition of heatstroke. Look out for lack of sweating, nausea and vomiting, mental confusion, flushed skin, rapid breathing and a racing pulse. | December 2021 | Edition 8

Remember to err on the side of caution when working in the heat; your health is too important not to.

Here are some key things to think about to avoid heat exhaustion/heat stroke:

are better to eat light meals and snacks during the heat

Photo @ Woodsolutions

If you sense that you or someone else is suffering from heat exhaustion, get them out of the sun and into a cooler environment. If you think it’s progressed to heatstroke, seek medical attention straight away.

MGA TMA member testimonials Out of some face-to-face visits with members (when we weren’t in lockdown), the idea was born of creating video testimonials of our MGA TMA members. Members introduce themselves and their business, talk about how long they have been an MGA TMA member, identify why they joined, and talk about how MGA TMA helps them run their business. These short clips will be posted to our website and used to promote membership with MGA TMA. If this is something that you are interested in being part of, please contact Marie-Claire on 0411 886 716 to discuss.




Applications for the 2022 Frederick O’Connell Scholarship are now open Frederick Richard O’Connell was Executive Director of the Timber Merchants’ Association (Vic) in the 1950’s. In his will, he left a sum of money to be used for scholarships for the children of TMA members or children of their employees. The scholarship was established to promote industrial harmony in Australia and to improve relationships between employers and employees within the timber industry. Applications are open to candidates who have enrolled in or who have already commenced a degree, certificate or diploma course conducted by a Victorian university.

Scholarships are awarded based on good character, personality, academic achievement and proficiency at sport. Preference is given to candidates who are children of either employees or directors/proprietors of companies that are members of the MGA TMA. Scholarships up to $5,000 are made available through this program. To apply, please visit our website https://www.mga.asn. au/frederick-richard-oconnell-scholarship Registrations close 27 February 2022.

Save on contactless debit card transaction costs Even if transaction costs are small, they can add up fast. We offer Least Cost Routing (LCR) so you don’t pay more than you have to. With LCR, your contactless debit card payments are directed to the most cost-effective channel. Learn more at

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22/6/21 3:36 pm




Victorian Liquor Licence renewal 2022 MGA Members should be aware that the VCGLR is moving to a digital liquor licence renewal process. Renewal notices and liquor licences will now be sent via email. To receive your annual renewal notice via email, you’ll need to register a Liquor Portal account, associate your licence and sign-up for eLicence.

Packaged Liquor Fees for 2022 are.

» Normal Trading Hours $2,044.20 » Authorised to trade during non-standard hours $6,132.80

If you don’t create a Liquor Portal account, you will still receive your renewal notice by post. Please ensure your postal address contact details are up to date or you run the risk of missing your annual renewal notice leading to non-payment of your licence.

Payment options are listed on the renewal notice. Once payment is made, your liquor licence will be emailed within five working days ready to print and display at the licensed venue.

Renewal notices are issued each year from late November with payment due in full by 31 December irrespective of when the licence was granted.

If you have any queries regarding your liquor licence fee, contact the MGA National Support Office on Free Call 1800 888 47.

008321_MGA_RetailerMagazineInserts_HalfPage-OAKHoneycomb.indd 1 | September 2021 | Edition 5

2/11/21 10:50 am



VCGLR Releases 2120 - 21 Annual Report The Annual Report for 2020 -21 released by the VCGLR reports the list of the achievements over what has been another very testing year.


The full Report can be read using the following link: https:// report_2020-21_final_for_publication.pdf Your MGA National Liquor Committee continues to work with all State and Territory Regulators to ensure that our members are not burden with any additional red tape and are able to trade in a fair and equitable trading environment.

WHITE CLAW ® HARD SELTZER MAKES WAVES ON AUSSIE SHORES White Claw touched down on Aussie shores with a splash last October! The #1 Hard Seltzer in the USA (+125% in 2020*), White Claw has quickly become a must-have beverage for Australian made occasions, from BBQs to picnics, from weekends away to sun-soaked afternoons with mates, and now accounts for one in five Seltzer sales in Australia! Made with sparkling water, a triple distilled spirit base and a hint of natural fruit flavour, White Claw delivers epic refreshment like nothing you’ve ever tasted. White Claw comes in three Epic Flavours: Mango, Natural Lime and Ruby Grapefruit. Sources: IRI USA Jan 21, IRI AU Feb 21

Hard Seltzer is continuing its strong growth, and after less than 18 months in the Australian market, the Hard Seltzer category has grown locally to a retail sales value of $37 million. Discover a surge of pure refreshment. To place your order for White Claw® Hard Seltzer Phone: 13 15 13 Online: Contact your Lion Sales Executive