As an owner of a retail business and employer I find the debate surrounding Aussie retailer Cotton On quite interesting.
Given the very fickle nature of the retail industry it is almost impossible for some businesses to be able to structure fixed breaks and lunches.
I would hazard to guess that there are hundreds of workers every day going without their breaks all over the country from Retail, Hospitality, Nursing and Police to name but a few.
Rather than resorting to my staff wearing adult diapers they are free to go to the loo when they like and are paid for their two 15 minute breaks, regardless of wether they take them or not, as more often than not they don't. That alone equates to nearly 20 hours a week in extra pay. A bit of give and take works well as some staff are happy to work through their breaks if it means they can leave earlier.
I don't agree with any employer who is trying to diminish their employee’s rights but I do agree that businesses should have the right to challenge the law if they feel it doesn't work for them.
I also think that anybody who buys cheap imported clothing from a chain store should seriously think about what kind of wage the person serving them is on when they buy a $10.00 tee shirt and not complain when they are getting less than $10.00 worth of customer service.
NZ Herald Article