The National Minimum Wage decision for 2017 was handed down by the Expert Panel of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) on 6 June 2017, based on actual and forecasted economic and social data.

As a result, from 1 July 2017:

  • the National Minimum Wage and minimum wages in Modern Awards will increase by 3.3%;
  • the National Minimum Wage will be $694.90 per week or $18.29 per hour;
  • weekly wages in Modern Awards will be rounded to the nearest 10 cents; and
  • the casual loading will remain at 25% in Modern Awards and for casual Award/Agreement free employees.

The 3.3% increase will also flow through to:

  • employees to whom training arrangements apply;
  • juniors;
  • employees with a disability; and
  • piece rates.

In addition, rates of pay in Enterprise Agreements will need to at least meet the base rate of pay in the applicable industry award(s) and be checked to ascertain the specific provisions for wage increases.

What do I need to do? I have employees covered under awards

If you have award covered employees, you will need to be aware of the 3.3% increases to rates of pay (which will also affect penalty rates and certain allowances) and adjust accordingly.

If you pay above award rates, and your rates of pay remain above the new award rates, you are not obliged to pass on a wage increase unless you have a contractual obligation to do so.

What do I need to do? I have employees covered under an Enterprise Agreement

You need to check the terms of the Enterprise Agreement in respect to wage increases but in any event the base rate of pay cannot fall below the base rate in the award that would apply if there was no Enterprise Agreement.

What do I need to do? I have all award free employees

You need to ensure that rates of pay at least match the new minimum wage of $18.29 per hour (permanent) or $22.86 (casual).

What do I need to do? I have award free employees, award covered employees and employees covered by an Enterprise Agreement

You need to check all of the above!