From 1 July 2011 minimum wages will increase in
line with Fair Work Australia Minimum Wage Panel's decision of
3 June 2011. The increases are as follows:
An increase of 3.4% to all modern award minimum weekly
An increase of $19.40 per week ($0.51 per hour) to the National
Minimum Wage bringing the minimum weekly rate for award/agreement
free employees to $589.30 per week ($15.51 per hour).
An increase in the casual loading for all award/agreement free
employees to 22%.
The increases flow through to junior employees, employees to
whom training arrangements apply, employees with a disability, and
employees who are paid piece rates.
What should employers do?
If they have not done so already, employers who pay employees at
minimum wage rates under a modern award, the National Minimum Wage
or other instrument, should update their payroll systems to pass on
the minimum wage increases from 1 July 2011. Employers applying the
transitional provisions of modern awards should also ensure that
they pass on the correct increase while transitioning to the next
pay point under the relevant modern award.
Employers who pay above minimum wages under modern awards should
be able to absorb the increases without making any changes.
Employers covered by workplace and enterprise agreements should
also be able to absorb the minimum wage increases, however they
should review the rates under their agreements to ensure that
employees are being paid at least the applicable minimum wage rate
as increased from 1 July 2011.
On hold: Reduced minimum engagement hours for after-school
casuals working in retail
On 20 June 2011, following an application by the National Retail
Association, Fair Work Australia carved out an exception for the
rule imposing a 3-hour minimum for shifts for casual employees
employed under the General Retail Industry Award 2010
The exception provided that secondary school-aged employees
could work for 90 minute shifts, provided that certain requirements
were met. This exception was due to commence on 1 July 2011.
However, the determination has been stayed
until an appeal by the Shop, Distributive & Allied
Employees' Association is heard. This means that the exception
will not take effect on 1 July 2011 as originally ordered.
If the appeal is unsuccessful, employers covered by the Award
may engage employees for 90 minute shifts if all
the following circumstances apply:
the employee is a full time secondary school student;
the employee is engaged to work between 3.00pm and 6.30pm on a
day which they are required to attend school;
the employee agrees to work, and a parent and guardian of the
employee agrees to allow the employee to work, a shorter period
than three hours; and
employment for a longer period is not possible due to the
operational requirements of the employer or the unavailability of
The Hall & Wilcox Franchising, Retail & Distribution and
Employment teams will keep you updated on the developments in this
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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