On Friday, the Fair Work Commission rejected employer groups’ claims to cut wages by freezing the minimum wage, and instead awarded a 1.75% increase. The increase brings the minimum wage up from $19.49 to $19.84 per hour or $753.80 per week.
The increase applies to all workers whose wages are set by Awards which is about 21% of the workforce. Young workers are more likely to be covered by Awards. This is a very modest increase and it is disappointing to see that some awards won’t see any increase until November and February.
The minimum wage increases will apply to different groups of workers at different times, according to the Award you are covered by. Find out more about how the minimum wage increase applies to you here.
The most important thing the country needs to recover right now is people with money to spend and the confidence to spend it. This is how the hospitality, retail and tourism industries will get back on their feet. Just about every cent a worker on minimum wages receives, they spend. This is money circulating to local businesses. It is the fastest and most effective form of stimulus we can have.
Many, many young workers have been left behind and suffered severe financial stress as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With job insecurity, and facing uncertain future work prospects, young workers rely upon government doing the right thing to stimulate the economy. For young workers who have been denied work during the pandemic and been forced to rely on JobSeeker, and for those who have kept work but only because of JobKeeper, it’s vitally important that those payments are not cut or reduced in September.
If you want to know more about the minimum wage increase, including how or when it applies to you, get in touch with the Young Workers Centre: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more details about the minimum wage increase here.