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Minimum wage to rise 2.4% following Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 2.4% increase to minimum wages effective from 1 July 2016, bringing the minimum rate from $17.29 per hour to $17.70 per hour.

The Commission’s annual wage review brings the weekly minimum wage for a full-time worker to $672.70 per week, an increase of $15.80. The rate applies to employees on the modern award or a registered agreement.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson said in a statement that the increase would be a burden for employers. ‘The Australian Chamber sought an increase of no more than $7.90 per week, a 1.2 per cent increase that is roughly in line with inflation,’ said Pearson. ‘In comparison to the 2.4 per cent increase granted by the Fair Work Commission, private sector wages grew by just 1.9 per cent in the year to March 2016.’

The Australian Retailers Association was also critical of the wage increase, saying in a statement: ‘There appears to have been no (or) little consideration taken into account of the fragile economy, risk to jobs or low growth for sectors such as retail by the Commission.’

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), which had called for an increase in the minimum wage to $18.08 an hour, amounting to an extra $30 a week, said the ‘minimum wage levels are still stubbornly low’. ‘While Unions are respectful of the FWC process and welcomes any rise in wages, this increase is less than the 2015 rise of $16 per week and is still not enough to close the growing gap between average and minimum wages that is putting enormous pressure on our lowest paid,’ said the ACTU.


Category: Local news