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FWC announces a 3% wage increase - effective from 1 July 2019

The Fair Work Commission has released its 2019 Annual Minimum Wage Decision, awarding a 3% increase to the national minimum wage and award-reliant employees.

The FWC decision increases the national minimum wage to $740.80 – or $19.49 an hour. This constitutes an increase of $21.60 a week or 57 cents an hour.  All award rates of pay will increase by 3% with effect from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2019.

The FWC panel stated that while business conditions have moderated from the high levels in early 2018, the forecast is for continued growth in the economy and strong performance in the labour market. The panel considered that its forecast provided an opportunity to improve the living standards of those relying on award rates and the minimum wage. Noting the disproportionately large number of women in this group, the panel (consisting of five men and two women) expressed a belief that an increase would assist in reducing the gender pay gap.   

It was acknowledged that

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On 1 January 2010 the modern award system provided for in the Fair Work Act 2009 will come into effect. It is possible that awards will cover employees who were previously regarded as ‘award free’, even though this was not the stated intention of the modern award process. Employers will need to determine which employees will be covered by which modern awards or face exposure to penalties of up to $33,000 per breach. Click here to read more

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