On 19 June 2020, the Fair Work Commission (the "FWC") handed down its decision as part of its annual wage review stipulating an increase of 1.75% to minimum wage rates in modern awards.

From the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020, the national minimum wage will be $753.80 per week (or $19.84 per hour). This represents an increase of $13.00 per week.

However, the modern award minimum wage increase will have different operative dates for different groups of modern awards, as follows:

Group 1 – Operative date 1 July 2020

  • Frontline health care and social assistance workers
  • Teachers and childcare workers
  • Other essential services

Group 2 – Operative date 1 November 2020

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • A range of other industries

Group 3 – Operative date 1 February 2021

  • Accommodation and food services
  • Arts and recreation services
  • Aviation
  • Retail trade
  • Tourism

What does this mean for employers?

Subject to the requirements of relevant modern awards, enterprise agreements and employment contracts, from 1 July 2020, employers must ensure that their full-time employees are paid at least $753.80 per week (or $19.84 per hour).
Employers should be aware of the award or agreement (if any) that applies to their employees and ensure wages are paid pursuant to it, noting that minimum wage rates in modern awards will be increased by 1.75%.

An employer who fails to pay wages in accordance with the national minimum wage order or requirements of a relevant award or agreement may be exposed to liability for breach of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

The full decision on the Annual Wage Review 2019-2020 can be found on the FWC website.

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.