Clifford Gouldson Lawyers

National Minimum Wage Lifted By $17.10

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1/06/2012

Fair Work Australia has announced an increase in the weekly national minimum wage of $17.10. This will take it to $606.40 per week, or $15.96 per hour, from 1 July 2012.

The increase was less than the $26-a-week pay rise sought by the ACTU, an amount the peak union body argued was essential for families to maintain a decent standard of living.

However, it was well above the $9.40-a-week increase that had been proposed by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Before increasing wages in the first pay period after 1 July 2012, employers ought to confirm the effect that their applicable Award transitional provision will have on the actual amount they are required to pay their employees.

In their ruling Fair Work Australia did not accept that employees should be compensated through the minimum wage adjustment for cost increases associated with the carbon tax and they also did not believe the increase should be discounted for the carbon price compensation package.

The bench also rejected all employer arguments for delays to, or exemptions, from the 2.9% rise.

Fair Work Australia’s Justice Ross said over the past decade, average earnings had risen faster than individual rates of pay.

"As a consequence, those reliant on award rates of pay have fallen behind the average earnings of workers and, in this sense, have not retained their relative standard of pay," he said.

Justice Ross said while the economy was expected to do well over the next year, the outlook for growth was uneven, making it difficult to form a clear view of the prospective economic performance.

"This uncertainty and the diversity of experience in the economy have been significant factors in our determination of the level of increase in minimum wages," he said.

If you have any questions in relation to this bulletin then please do not hesitate to contact any of the members of CG Law’s workplace relations team.

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