Permanent workers will be paid in full over the six week period.
Permanent workers will be paid in full over the six week period.

Kmart’s ‘admirable’ move for staff

The Kmart Group has vowed to continue paying its staff across the discount department chain's network in Victoria despite the stage 4 lockdown forcing all metropolitan stores to close.

Permanent workers across the operation, which includes Target and online sales distributor Catch.com.au, will remain employed and paid in full during the six-week period.

Click and collect will be available for online sales but only a skeleton fleet of staff is required to service these orders while government restrictions on team members had left many without a meaningful role.

But Kmart Group managing director Ian Bailey has promised to support its team regardless of the extraordinary trading conditions.

"This is why we are pleased to announce that we have made the commitment that all permanent team members affected by the current stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne across Kmart, Target and Catch will remain employed and paid fully," he said.

Casual team members who work 12 hours or more each week will be paid the equivalent of their regular hours throughout the six weeks if they aren't needed, while those who typically work less will be paid their normal wage for two weeks.

Social distancing restrictions have left many without meaningful work.
Social distancing restrictions have left many without meaningful work.

 

"In the current environment and out of concern for our team members, we felt that this was the right thing to do to support them and their families at this time," Mr Bailey said.

"We are all facing a variety of challenges and if we can alleviate the financial burden and ensure our team members have one less thing to worry about, we believe that we should do so."

The retail union has welcomed the "admirable" decision from the Kmart Group and has called on other retailers to offer similar support to their team members.

"These are essential workers on the frontline who have been risking their health and safety to ensure the community have food on the table and other essentials throughout the COVID crisis," Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association secretary Gerard Dwyer said.

"Wesfarmers - the conglomerate that owns Kmart - has acted with admirable speed to minimise the anxiety and uncertainty of their staff.

"It is now time for other major retailers to follow Wesfarmers' lead."

Originally published as Kmart's 'admirable' move for staff


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