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The Fair Work Commission has decided to abolish junior rates in the Retail Award for all but the lowest three classification levels, with any submissions to be filed by next Tuesday opposing its provisional view that the variation should start in February.

A full bench headed by President Iain Ross reached the decision as part of the Commission’s four-yearly review of modern awards.

The Commission’s view is that “employees performing work at a higher classification than Level 1 are recognised as having the necessary skills and competencies applicable for the higher classification and the full adult rate should apply to the rates paid to these employees, irrespective of age”.

Employer groups argued that an increase in junior wages could increase costs and remove the incentive for employers to engage junior retail employees on levels higher than the first.