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Events award called for

SOME hospitality industry members are calling for a new award to help boost employment and ease the administration burden for special events.

Leederville Hotel director Craig Hutchinson, who is also a director of the Red Rock Hotel and Club Bayview, told a recent Small Business Development Corporation business breakfast about the merits of introducing a new award.

He said the Rugby World Cup in October would highlight the importance of having a simpler system for events.

“There are some key events and it would be good if we could have a system that said these five events we recognise and if you employ someone there is a rate that everyone gets, regardless of weekends and public holidays,” he said.

“It would be good to have something, a special award, that made it easier for the employer and those being employed.”

Effectively, the system would work similar to cash-in-hand jobs – everything would be legal and proper occupational health and safety commitments would apply, Mr Hutchinson said.

Restaurant and Catering Industry Association executive director Terry Bright said it would be difficult to escape requirements such as superannuation and taxes, however, Australian Workplace Agreements offered an effective option for hospitality employers.

“You can have a pool of casual staff and have them on AWA’s and you can pay them a flat rate,” he said.

Mr Bright said the current Restaurant, Tearoom, and Catering Award required change in order to provide a simple and fairer system for the industry.

“It needs to be a seven day award but instead its got double time and time and half for weekend periods and public holidays,” he said.

Mr Hutchinson said popular practice within the industry was to manage busy periods with existing staff or to call in favours from friends.

“From a bookkeeping point of view it’s a lot of extra work,” he said.

The South African rugby team will be using the Leederville Hotel as a base for it fans during the Rugby World Cup.

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