Minimum Wage Increase
As part of its annual wage review, the Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel has today ordered an increase to the national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages of 3.0%.
The new national minimum wage will be $740.80 per week or $19.49 per hour. This constitutes an increase of $21.60 per week to the weekly rate, or 56 cents per hour to the hourly rate. The wage increase will take effect from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019.
This rate is lower than the increase which was ordered last year of 3.5%.
The new 3.0% increase is higher than the 1.3% CPI increase of the last year and so it keeps wages above the latest rate of inflation.
What Should You Do?
From the first pay period on or after 1 July 2019, employers must satisfy the new minimum payment obligations for all relevant staff.
Employers should now carefully review their wage arrangements and implement the necessary wage increases (keeping in mind the next phase of lowered penalty rates which continue to transition in certain industries) to ensure minimum wage rates are at least commensurate with the underpinning modern award.
Employers paying above-award payments should also review such arrangements to ensure that they are high enough to accommodate the increases (provided they are also supported by the necessary individual flexibility or other agreements).
Further, as a minimum, employers must continue to provide the minimum 9.5% superannuation contributions to the employees’ complying funds, calculated against Ordinary Time Earnings, to avoid liability to pay the Superannuation Guarantee Charge.
If you have any questions regarding your minimum pay obligations, minimum superannuation contributions or penalty rates, do not hesitate to contact HR Legal.