In a decision that is said to affect over 2.3 million employees in Australia and with the intention of improving the relative living standards of the low paid, the Fair Work Commission announced today that the Federal Minimum Wage will be increased by 3.3 per cent.

The national minimum wage will be $694.90 per week, or $18.29 per hour, which constitutes an increase of $22.20 per week or 59 cents per hour.

Minimum award wages will also be increased by 3.3 per cent, with weekly wages to be rounded to the nearest 10 cents.

The Commission stated that “[t]he level of increase we have decided upon will not lead to inflationary pressure and is highly unlikely to have any measurable negative impact on employment. It will, however, mean an improvement in the real wages for those employees who are reliant on the NMW and modern award minimum wages and an improvement in their relative living standards.” The increase is substantially more than last year’s increase of 2.4 per cent but still falls short of the increases being sought by the unions.

The changes will be effective on 1 July 2017 so employers should ensure that they are ready to implement these increases.