Fair Work Minimum Wage Increase Decision for 2024

The Fair Work Commission has released its 2024 Annual Minimum Wage Decision, awarding a 3.75% increase to the national minimum wage rate and to award rates of pay. An estimated 2.6 million workers around the country will be affected by the change.

The FWC decision increases the national minimum wage to $915.91 per week – or $24.10 an hour. This constitutes an increase of approximately $33.00 a week.

In determining the increase, the primary consideration of the commission was the cost-of-living pressures that modern-award-reliant employees, particularly those who are low paid and live in low-income households, continue to experience notwithstanding that inflation is considerably lower than it was at the time of last years review.

However, the Commission did not think it was appropriate at this time to increase award wages by any amount significantly about the inflation rates, principally because labour productivity is no higher than it was 4 years ago, and productivity growth has only recently returned to positive territory.

The ACTU had called for a 5% increase across the board however the Commission rejected this submission, noting that at this point in time there is insufficient grounds for confidence that productivity growth has returned to its pre-pandemic average levels.

The decision follows on from the wage increase announced in 2023, which was also historically high. Employer representatives have commented that this further wage increase comes at a time when many employers are already facing steep price increases in their businesses.

The increase will apply from 1 July 2024.

Who is affected?

The 2024 Minimum Wage Decision applies to all employees covered by the national workplace relations system. If an employee is paid above the relevant modern award base rate of pay then, provided an employee’s over-award payment still results in them being paid at least the new base rate of pay, the employer will have met their obligation with respect to the minimum wage increase.

What employers need to do?

Employers have a legal responsibility to ensure that all of their employees are paid at least what they would receive under a modern award, registered agreement or national minimum wage order. We recommend a review of your payroll obligations to ensure you are meeting your responsibilities in readiness for the applicable date that applies to your industry sector.

Should you require any assistance in reviewing your payroll obligations or if you have any questions about this wage review and its impact, please contact us.

Andrew Bland

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