Fair Work Australia ("FWA") handed
down its second annual wage decision at 10.00 am today. The
responsibility to determine minimum wages was returned to the
industrial tribunal from the Australian Fair Pay Commission last
FWA has made the following determinations:
To increase the federal minimum wage by 3.4% or $19.40 per
week. This results in an increase from $15.00 per hour ($569.00 per
week ) to $15.51 per hour ($589.30 per week); and
Commensurate 3.4% 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 2011.
The increases can be contrasted with last year's decision,
in which an increase of $26 per week in adult award minimum rates
of pay was awarded. However, there had been no movement in minimum
wages for 21 months prior to 1 July 2010.
The decision represents a compromise between the submissions put
by union and employer associations.
The ACTU pushed for a 'hybrid' increase of $28 per week
for the lowest paid workers (award classifications C10 and below,
or equivalent rate) and an increase of 4.2% to higher paid workers
(award classifications C9 and above, or equivalent rate). By
contrast, the AIG and ACCI argued for more moderate increases of
$14 per week and $9.50 per week respectively. Both AIG and ACCI
sought a delay in the implementation date for those employers who
had been badly affected by recent natural disasters: AIG, until 1
January 2012 and ACCI, until 1 July 2012. These were sought under
the exceptional circumstances provisions in the FWA Act. FWA
rejected these submissions.
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Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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