The Fair Work Commission ("FWC") has increased the national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages by 2.5%. With the exception of some modern awards, these changes will be effective from 1 July 2021.
The FWC is required under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) to conduct annual wage reviews into the national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages each financial year. The annual wage review is performed by an Expert Panel, who has the power to set, vary or revoke modern award minimum wages. In making its decision, the Expert Panel will consider submissions from relevant parties including the Federal and State Governments, and employer and employee representative bodies.
In making its decision, the Expert Panel had regard to the economic and social indicators such as the labour market, productivity, profits, investment, inflation, and the relative living standards and needs of low paid workers.
Quantum and timing of increases
In monetary terms, the national minimum wage will increase to $772.60 per week or $20.33 per hour, which equates to an increase of $18.80 per week or 49 cents per hour. This increase will come into effect from 1 July 2021.
The 2.5% increase in modern award minimum wages for the majority of modern awards will take effect from 1 July 2021. However, the following modern awards will have their increases take effect from 1 November 2021:
- Air Pilots Award 2020
- Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2020
- Airline Operations - Ground Staff Award 2020
- Airport Employees Award 2020
- Airservices Australia Enterprise Award 2016
- Alpine Resorts Award 2020
- Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020
- Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award 2020
- Fitness Industry Award 2020
- Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010
- Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
- Live Performance Award 2020
- Mannequins and Models Award 2020
- Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2020
- Nursery Award 2020
- Racing Clubs Events Award 2020
- Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award 2020
- Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020
- Restaurant Industry Award 2020
- Sporting Organisations Award 2020
- Travelling Shows Award 2020
- Wine Industry Award 2020.
Finally, the increases under the General Retail Industry Award 2020 will come into effect on 1 September 2021.