From 27 March 2006 the minimum wage rate for adult workers will increase from $9.50 per hour to $10.25 per hour. For youth workers and trainees the rate increases from $7.60 per hour to $8.20 per hour.

In December last year Sue Bradford introduced the Minimum Wage (Abolition of Age Discrimination) Amendment Bill. The Bill seeks to abolish the youth rate minimum wage on the basis that it is discriminatory under the Human Rights Act. The explanatory note to the bill describes youth rates as ‘arbitrary, inequitable and unjustifiable under the principle of equal pay for work of equal value’. The Bill would continue to permit lower rates being paid to apprentices, genuine trainees and to disabled workers who are incapable of earning wages at the minimum rate.

The Bill is currently before the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee. Submissions on the Bill close on 21 April 2006.

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