The annual minimum wage review has kicked off today, but according to some business heads, the review could not be worse timing for employers.
Business groups, however, are lobbying for a much lower figure. The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) has submitted an increase of $12 per week, and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has voted for a rise of $5.80.
According to the ACCI, if the ACTU’s submission is accepted, a $30 per week rise would cost businesses nearly $2.5bn each year and, ultimately, jobs could be on the chopping block. "We are fast reaching an economic tipping point where the capacity of employers to sustain jobs below a 6% unemployment figure is at risk with this excessive union wage claim, the ink barely dry on a federal budget that requires more levy lifting from the corporate sector with $2.4bn in additional taxes plus the quarter of a per cent higher payroll tax in July to fund compulsory superannuation," ACCI CEO Peter Anderson said yesterday.
The hearings continue, and any change to minimum wages will start from 1 July. Employers may sign up for updates from the Fair Work Ombudsman, which will email out information about minimum wages. Click here for more information.