On 6 May 2020 we described the proposed amendment to the Vehicle, Manufacturing, Repairs, Services and Retail Award 2010 (Award) as a small blessing. We overstated the level of blessing. The consent variation will offer nothing for nearly all Motor Vehicle Dealers because access to the new Schedule J benefits are only for those businesses that are not eligible for JobKeeper.
In case everyone has forgotten:
- The Australian Automotive Dealers Association (AADA), advised on 5 May, 2020 that new car sales in Australia were the lowest in 26 years for the month of April. A moments thought would tell everyone that Dealers are eligible but still bleeding financially. The AADA have pressed Government to extend $150k asset write off, review new car taxes, relax credit and importantly protect franchisees, who have already been subject to sudden withdrawal of franchises with questionable compensation.
- The new State specific regulations introduced to implement the National Code of Conduct, particularly in Victoria make it very hard for Dealers to obtain the benefit of rent relief.
- Australia will record a 10% plus drop in GDP for the June Quarter and September will have negative growth-a profound recession inevitably affecting discretionary expenditure, like new cars. When new car sales drop the profit strong area of service for Dealers drops off. There are bleak times ahead.
So excluding Dealers who are eligible for JobKeeper is extraordinary step and different from similar provisions in the Education Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2010, where the variations were similar but no JobKeeper exclusion.
The Full bench of FWC issued a statement yesterday saying it will make the variation (only to 30 June 2020) today if no objections. When we get the Award variation in final form we will give you exactly what are the variations for the few dealers, if any, who can access it.