The Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel for annual wage reviews (Panel) has today published its annual wage review under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

The outcome of the Panel’s review is that from 1 July 2019:

  • the National Minimum Wage and modern award minimum wages will increase by 3.0%; and
  • the National Minimum Wage will increase to $740.80 per week (up from $719.20 per week) or $19.49 per hour (up from $18.93 per hour).

The 3.0% increase will also apply to modern award minimum wages for junior employees, employees to whom training arrangements apply, employees with disability, and to piece rates.

Likewise, the wages in the National Training Wage schedule will increase by 3.0%.

The Panel declared that around 2.2 million (or 21%) of Australian employees who are reliant on minimum rates of pay or modern award rates of pay will be directly affected by the increase.

The determinations which give effect to the increase in modern awards will be published by the Panel shortly.

What does this mean for employers?

The Panel’s decision means that employers who pay their employees at minimum wage rates pursuant to a modern award, the National Minimum Wage or other industrial instrument, will be required to increase their employees’ pay in the first pay period on or after 1 July 2019.

Employers who pay their employees under an industrial instrument, such as a collective or enterprise agreement, should also review the rates under those instruments to ensure that they are equal to or above the applicable minimum wage rates.

Employers who pay their employees above the minimum wage rates may be able to absorb the increases without making any changes.