The Australian Fair Pay Commission ("AFPC") handed
down its fourth and final minimum wage determination at 1.30pm
today, with good news for employers.
In today's determination, the AFPC decided not to award any
increase in the Federal minimum weekly wage. This leaves the
minimum wage unchanged at $543.78 per week.
Adult rates of pay under the Australian Pay and Classification
Scales will also remain the same. Any increases awarded were to be
effective from 1 October 2008.
In making its decision, the AFPC is required to have regard to a
variety of issues including employment levels and competitiveness
around the country, in addition to the capacity of unemployed and
low paid employees to obtain and remain in employment. This
decision is intended to protect jobs and to support a stronger
recovery in employment as the economy picks up.
The AFPC determination represents a surprise outcome. The ACTU
was seeking a $21 per week increase. By contrast, AIG submitted
that any increase be limited to $8 per week whilst ACCI requested a
freeze on minimum wages.
The AFPC will cease to exist in the future. Instead, the system
for minimum wage setting will return to something more akin to that
which existed prior to Work Choices. Minimum wages will be
determined through Fair Work Australia via a minimum wage panel,
chaired by the President of FWA, Justice Geoffrey Giudice. Minimum
wages will also return to awards, with the current Australian Pay
and Classification Scales ceasing to exist.
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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