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ALERT: Fair Work Commission announces 3.0% increase to the national minimum wage

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission has today determined to increase the National Minimum Wage by 3.0%, and for the same increase to be applied to the minimum rates in each Modern Award.

In the Full Bench’s statement, the Commission made the following comments in relation to the decision to award a lower increase than in the 2017/2018 minimum wage review:

[10] We have decided to award a lower increase this year than that awarded last year having regard to the changes in the economic environment (in particular the recent fall in GDP growth and the drop in inflation) and the tax-transfer changes which have taken effect in the current Review period and which have provided a benefit to low-paid households.

[11] We are satisfied that the level of increase we have decided upon will not lead to any adverse inflationary outcome and nor will it have any measurable negative impact on employment. However, such an increase will mean an improvement in real wages for those employees who are reliant on the NMW and modern award minimum wages and an improvement in their living standards.

The effect of the increase will mean that the National Minimum Wage will increase by $21.60 per week, from the current $719.20 per week ($18.93 per hour) to $740.80 per week ($19.49 per hour).

The 3.0% increase will take effect from 1 July 2019.

Employers should ensure that where the Modern Award rate is being paid, the increase is passed on to their Award-covered employees from 1 July 2019. It is also essential that Employers review pay rates for employees currently receiving over-Award payments, or engaged under Enterprise Agreements, to ensure that they do not underpay their employees when compared against the revised award rates, and/or continue to comply with the remuneration provisions of the Enterprise Agreement.

Aitken Legal can be contacted for any enquiry about the wage increase and its application to remuneration arrangements, including through Modern Awards and Enterprise Agreements.

Disclaimer:  The information contained this alert is intended as a guide only.  Professional advice should be sought before applying any of the information to particular circumstances.  While every reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of this update, Aitken Legal does not accept liability for any errors it may contain.  Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation. Contact Aitken Legal here.
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