Home' The Channel Magazine : National Newsagent March 2015 Contents 27
National Newsagent - March 2015
When I look at a prospective new lease deal, I usually have a
pretty good sense from the outset as to how the negotiations
are going to play out, not on all occasions, but most—usually
the final outcome is pretty close to what I expected. Before
the negotiations start I know that there is going to be a lot of
posturing by the landlord (or their agent), a lot of back and
forth bartering on key aspects such as rent, lease incentives,
rent reviews etc, but I always think to myself, wouldn’t it be
great if we could skip all the bravado and game playing and
simply cut to the chase.
When I worked on the landlord side of the equation many
years ago, I tried this approach with a very experienced
retailer whom I knew well—we were negotiating a new lease
during the course of a re-development of a shopping centre
that I was managing at the time. I had to lease a lot of shops
in a relatively short time frame, so I really didn’t want to go
through the normal process of posturing, back and forth
negotiations, as we both knew where the deal was going to
land so I suggested that we just cut the deal without all the
nonsense. Well, do you know what the response was from
my retailer colleague? Whilst he saw my logic and agreed
that it was an excellent idea, it just didn’t feel right to him and
besides, his superiors expected that there had to be a certain
amount of horse trading, otherwise the deal would simply
look “too easy” and might come across as being “soft”.
At first I was pretty irritated by the lack of logic, but then I
thought long and hard about his response. This retailer’s
response was fueled by pure emotion, then it hit me like a
lightning bolt, of course it was emotion, in fact it was a totally
normal human reaction. I don’t know why, but we humans
have an innate tendency to want to work though a process,
to push back, barter, argue and negotiate.
Kids appear to be experts!
In fact it starts at a very early age—for those of you with
children, how often do you negotiate with your child to
brush their teeth or eat that last spoon full of vegetables.
They moan and groan, push back continually and when they
finally give in, they will ask for something in return—“If I eat
those peas, then you have to take me for ice cream on the
weekend”. I bet more often that not you cave in, I know I do
(perhaps we should ask our kids to negotiate for us, as they
are absolute naturals.)
We’d all like to skip the moaning and whinging and simply
have our child eat their vegetables without any compromise,
however this is not going to happen—we have to negotiate
and more importantly we have to take the time to explain why
vegetables are good for them, what will happen if they don’t
eat good food etc—it’s a process that is unavoidable.
The same logic applies to negotiating a lease, we simply
cannot rush the process if we want to achieve a good
outcome. I am not suggesting that we drag out negotiations
for the sake of it where we don’t need to, I am simply
suggesting that during the negotiating process there will
always be compromises and it will probably take time, more
time than you prefer—you have to be patient and realise that
you need to horse trade and be prepared to give something
away. The trick is determining what you can give away, how
quickly and what you shouldn’t give away and the only way
to know that is to plan your strategy well before negotiations
commence, but this is a whole new topic in itself, so we’ll
explore this in the next article.
For leasing advice, please contact Michael Cuda on
M: 0412 300 907 or
At times, newsagents can be confused about the
difference between a casual employee and a part-time
The main difference is whether or not the employee
works reasonably predictable hours of work. If an
employee does work reasonably predictable hours of
work, then the employee should probably be classified as
a part-time employee.
Most modern awards specify that the following must be
agreed in writing with a part-time employee before they
the hours that will be worked each day;
the days on which those hours will be worked; and
starting and finishing times for each day.
When you are agreeing on hours of work, you need
to check the relevant modern award for the minimum
engagement for a part time employee. In many awards,
the minimum period you can ask a part-time employee to
work is three consecutive hours.
There are some differences between awards, for
example, the General Retail Industry Award 2010 allows a
part-time employee to be on a roster that can be changed
with seven days written notice. However, the number of
hours the employee works in a week cannot be changed.
On the other hand, the Clerks—Private Sector Award
2010 only allows changes to an employee’s hours by
Any changes to an agreement with a part-time employee
must be recorded in writing, and kept as part of the time
and wages records.
It is also important for employers to note that if a part-
time employee works in excess of the agreed number
of hours on any day, they could be entitled to overtime
penalty rates for the additional hours. Check the part-time
clause in the relevant modern award for further detail, as
IR: Part-time or casual?
Links Archive National Newsagent February 15 National Newsagent April 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page