Fair Work Commission
(FWC)’s Expert Panel has announced changes to the national minimum wage in the Annual Wage Review.
Justice Iain Ross, president of the FWC, announced the changes this afternoon.
Australia’s national minimum wage will increase by 2.5%, as will the Modern Award minimum wages.
This means that from July 1, employers will have to pay workers a minimum of $656.90 per week, or an hourly rate of $17.29 – an increase of $16 per week, or 42 cents per hour.
The Panel’s decision will affect 1.86 million Australians.
“A number of considerations have led us to award a lower increase than that determined in last year’s review decision,” Justice Ross said.
Among these considerations was the reduction in inflation and aggregate wages growth, which Justice Ross referred to as “the most significant change” to occur during the past year.
He also noted “signs of underutilisation in the workforce”.
“The principle of equal remuneration is a factor in favour of an increase in the national and Modern Awards minimum wage,” Justice Ross added. “The increase we have determined is consistent with the promotion of social inclusion through workforce participation and is also compatible with the need to encourage collective bargaining.”