The changes were announced early last month by the Fair Work Commission (FWC)’s Expert Panel, and will see a 2.5% increase to national and Modern Award minimum wages.
This means that – from today – 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.
“A number of considerations have led us to award a lower increase than that determined in last year’s review decision,” Justice Iain Ross said when the announcement was made.
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.”
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Employers are reminded that the changes to the national minimum wage are effective as of today.