Employment Law E-Alert

1 June 2012 Employment Law e-alert 

Author: David Thompson

Minimum Wage Decision 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.

Darren Miller, Perth +61 8 9488 1300 darren.miller@culshawmiller.com.au