FWC makes call on minimum wage

FWC makes call on minimum wage

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has decided on a 3 per cent increase on the national minimum wage from 1 July.

The decision means that Australia’s lowest paid workers will get a $21.60 a week pay rise to a new weekly FT rate of $740.80 ($19.49/hr).

The minimum wage is currently $719.20 a week, after the FWC chose to enact a 3.5 per cent (or $24.30) per week increase in 2018.

In the lead up to the decision, The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) had argued that the minimum wage should rise by $43 a week, or 6%, to $762.20.

However, The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry recommended the increase not exceed 1.8 per cent, while the Australian Industry Group argued for a 2 per cent, or $14.40 a week, increase.

President Justice Iain Ross said that the increase was to meet the needs of low-paid households after considering that the economy had performed "moderately well" and the labour market was strong.

Justice Ross added that the panel "decided to award a lower increase than last year having regard to the changes of economic environment, the drop in GDP and inflation and having regard to tax transfer changes that have taken effect in current review period".

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell acknowledged the Fair Work Commission’s decision to lift the national minimum wage and backs the independent process that lead to today’s announcement.

“The Fair Work Commission has acted independently with a panel of experts assessing all relevant viewpoints and information available to them," said Carnell.

“The decision handed down by Commission President Iain Ross was in response to key economic indicators including low inflation and a fall in GDP growth.

“It’s critical that this decision-making process remains independent and is kept out of the hands of politicians or those with a vested interest.


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