The minimum wage panel of Fair Work Australia (“FWA”) handed down its annual decision on minimum wages at 10:00
am this morning. FWA has made the following determinations:
- to increase the national minimum wage by $17.10 per week. This results in an increase from $15.51 per hour ($589.30 per week) to $15.96 per hour ($606.40 per week) and
- 2.9% increases in hourly modern award minimum rates of pay across the board.
The increases awarded will take effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2012. By comparison, FWA increased minimum wages by $19.40 per week this time last year. The decision represents a compromise between the submissions put by union and employer associations.
The ACCI requested an increase of not more than $9.40 per week on an award-by-award basis and to the national minimum wage. It also requested exemptions from an increase for particular industry-specific employers which are facing significant challenges. The AiG requested an increase of $14 per week to both award minimum wages and the national minimum wage.
Its flat dollar proposal was designed to provide a proportionately higher benefit to the low paid, at a level it suggested would not
pose undue risks to the Australian economy.
The ACTU had proposed a $26 per week increase to award rates up to and including the C10 rate, as well to the national minimum wage. It also sought a 3.8% increase in award rates above the C10 level. It submitted that the earnings of award-reliant workers had fallen relative to the earnings of other
workers, something its proposed increases were designed to correct.