Thanks to the advocacy of Australian unions representing millions of workers across the country, the Fair Work Commission has decided to increase the minimum wage in 2021 by 2.5%.
The increase applies to anyone who is paid minimum Award wages or the national minimum wage (not covered by an Award or Enterprise Agreement). If you are covered by an Enterprise Agreement and your rate is less than the new minimum wage, you will also get an increase. 1 in 4 Australian workers rely on the minimum wage increase every year. If you’re not sure how it applies to you, ask us: email@example.com We can give you some advice and assistance to make sure you are getting paid right.
Many young workers will wait months before they see the increase in their pay packets. The increase doesn’t apply to everyone straight away – check out our quick guide below to see when you can expect a pay rise.
The minimum wage increase is a win for workers and is the result of unions fighting hard against employers and the Federal Government who argued for much smaller increases or, in some cases, a wage freeze! Unions argued for 3.5% but the Fair Work Commission decided on a 2.5% to be applied to workers under different Awards between 1 July and November this year.
The retail sector has seen large businesses like Harvey Norman making record profits during the pandemic (Harvey Norman profits increased 100% in 2020) and benefiting from government support in the form of JobKeeper. But yet again it’s the workers, particularly young workers, who are paying for this corporate greed. 2.5% is not enough for workers relying on the minimum wage. For most young workers, precarious employment means hours of work (and therefore income) fluctuate at the whim of bosses, there is no entitlement to leave (even sick leave) and after years of stagnant wages, a 2.5% increase is not enough to address growing income inequality.
When will you get the minimum wage increase?
Most young workers will be waiting until at least 1 September (retail) or 1 November (hospitality and restaurants/cafes) for a pay increase.
1 July – workers under Awards that aren’t listed below.
1 September – workers under the Retail Industry Award
1 November – workers under the Hospitality Award, Restaurant Award, Amusement Award as well as those listed below:
- Pilots Award
- Cabin Crew Award
- Airline Ground Staff Award
- Airport Award
- Alpine Resorts Award
- Amusement Award
- Dry Cleaning and Laundry Award
- Fitness Award
- Hair and Beauty Award
- Hospitality Award
- Live Performance Award
- Models Award
- Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award
- Nursery Award
- Racing Clubs Events Award
- Racing Ground Maintenance Award
- Registered Clubs Award
- Restaurant Award
- Sporting Organisations Award
- Travelling Shows Award
- Wine Award
Of course, the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage doesn’t mean anything if bosses don’t pay it! Keep an eye on your pay slip after 1 September (retail) or 1 November (hospo, restaurants and cafes) and let us know if you’re not getting the increase or you’re not sure: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you think you’re currently being underpaid, or you just need someone to double check, get in touch.