Pay rise for minimum wage earners

Jewell Hancock


As a full service employment law firm just for employees, Jewell Hancock Employment Lawyers can assist with any workplace issue facing an employee.The firm prides itself on being truly independent. We don’t perform conflicting work for employers and we don’t receive referrals from unions. This means you can be confident that you are always receiving truly independent advice and representation tailored to your circumstances.
National minimum wage; modern award minimum wages; gender undervaluation issues; underpayments.
Australia Employment and HR
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The Annual Wage Review is in, and Australia's minimum wage workers are set to receive a 3.75% increase from 1 July 2024.

The Fair Work Commission considered cost-of-living pressures on households, the needs of the low-paid workforce and the gender pay gap when reaching their decision. In announcing the increase, the Fair Work Commission highlighted that the decline in real wages is causing significant financial stress on households. These adverse effects disproportionately affect female employees and those in less secure employment (such as casual workers).

The Commission also took into account that modern-award-reliant employees will shortly receive the benefit of the Stage 3 tax cuts and the Budget cost-of-living measures, which are projected to increase real household disposable incomes over the next 12 months.

The increase will impact two groups – National Minimum Wage employees and modern award minimum wage earners. Approximately 20.7% of the Australian workforce, or about 2.6 million employees, are paid in accordance with minimum wage rates in modern awards and will be directly affected by this decision.

National Minimum Wage

The National Minimum Wage increase will only apply to employees in the national industrial relations system who are not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement.

Modern Award Minimum Wages

There are 121 modern awards that apply to employees in the national industrial relations system in various industries and occupations a small number of modern enterprise awards which apply to specific business enterprises. Each modern award sets minimum wage rates for employees working in the industry, occupations or enterprise covered by the award, usually expressed as yearly, weekly or hourly rates.

Gender undervaluation issues

In today's statement, the Commission also committed to establishing a program for the timely resolution of gender undervaluation issues arising in some modern awards.

Research conducted over the last 12 months has identified priority areas for attention – early childhood education and care workers, disability home care workers and other social and community services workers, dental assistants, medical technicians, psychologists, other health professionals and pharmacists.


An underpayment arises when an employer does not pay an employee their correct entitlements under a contract of employment, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the National Employment Standards, a modern award or an enterprise agreement. Employees can be underpaid their entitlement to minimum wage, overtime, penalty rates, allowances, leave and loadings.

If you are one of the 2.6 million Australians expected to be impacted by this decision, ensure you know which changes apply to you and that you receive the correct pay in your first full pay period after 1 July.

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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