The Australian accommodation sector is suffering with low occupancy rates due to the natural calamities in regional areas.
The Australian accommodation sector is suffering with low occupancy rates due to the natural calamities in regional areas.

Pay rise cap for workers due to struggling tourism industry

FLOODS, rising superannuation costs and a national downturn in tourism are behind an accommodation industry push for a 1.5% limit on pay rise for its workers.

The push for the smaller pay rise was revealed in a submission to the Fair Work Commission's annual wage review by Accommodation Association of Australia.

As part of the wage review, the FWC is looking at the rate of pay for employees across all industries, especially low-paid roles in accommodation, retail, hospitality and cleaning.

Chief among the industry concerns were a Federal Government-imposed increase to superannuation for all Australian workers, up from 9% to 12% this year.

The AAA, which represents most regional hotels and accommodation providers, says the rise will force employers to pay an increased rate of 9.25% of the 12% superannuation.

It says that increase has compounded the effects of a long-term downturn in tourism, especially for employers in Queensland and northern New South Wales still suffering from recent floods.

The industry key issues of concern included a steady decrease in profit margins since 2008-09 and the rapid and continued expansion of Australia's outbound tourism.

Low occupancy rates due to the natural calamities in regional areas, and the effects of the high Australian dollar were also contributing factors.

It argued any increase to employee pay above a 1.5% rise would have a "significant impact" on the sector, including its ability to employ and keep employed existing workers.

The industry submission conflicted with the Australian Council of Trade Union's call for a 4.2% wage increase for all workers on rates above the minimum wage.



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