22 January 2019

Hospitality business Merivale, which runs 70 venues across Sydney, has been forced to terminate its “zombie” WorkChoices-era EBA because it undercuts the award. Over three-quarters of the company’s staff are casuals who have been stiffed on evening, weekend, and overtime rates; some have been paid 22% below the award. Unfortunately, the company is being given until March to meet the award minimums, because the ten years since WorkChoices was scrapped has apparently not been long enough. There is a lesson here for Labor, whose Fair Work Act allowed this to occur: any grandfathering of immoral laws must be for a limited transition period only.