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Australia’s minimum wage increases to 2.5 per cent

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The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced that the national minimum wage will increase from $19.84 per hour to $20.33 per hour starting today. 

A 2.5 per cent increase to the national minimum wage was announced by the Fair Work Commission last 16 June 2021. This increase will be applied from the first full pay period starting on or after today, bringing the weekly minimum wage from $753.80 to $772.60. 

Casual employees that the national minimum wage applies to will be receiving a minimum of $25.41 per hour. This includes their 25 per cent casual loading. 

Employees covered by awards will also have their base pay rates increased by 2.5 per cent. However, these increases to award wages will begin on different dates for different groups of awards. 

Their base pay rate increase will start from the first full pay period starting on or after the relevant date. 

Most of the award wages will increase from 1 July 2021. The following are exempt from this: 

  • wages in the Retail Award will increase from 1 September 2021; 
  • wages in 21 other awards where the Fair Work Commission deemed there were exceptional circumstances will increase from 1 November 2021.

A list of these awards can be found at the Annual Wage Review 2021. 

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said workplaces are expected to ensure that all their employees are paid at least the relevant minimum wage, in line with the Fair Work Commission’s decision. 

“The Fair Work Ombudsman has free online tools available to help employers comply with their workplace obligations, which have been updated to reflect the new pay rates,” Ombudsman Parker said.

“We urge all businesses to use our Pay and Conditions Tool to check the lawful minimum rates they need to pay their staff, or to contact us directly for free assistance.”

Ombudsman Parker encourages workers to use the Fair Work Commission’s Pay and Conditions Tool to check their rates of pay. If workers are unsure which award applies to them, they can also use their Find my award tool.

If employers and employees have any queries or concerns about pay rates, the Fair Work Ombudsman encourages them to contact the agency for free advice and assistance.

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