Fair Work Australia has increased the wages of 1.4 million award-dependent workers by $26 per week after a two year wage freeze under the previous Government’s wage-setting tribunal.
The national minimum wage in the national minimum wage order will be $569.90 per week or $15 per hour. The hourly rate has been calculated on the basis of a 38 hour week for a full-time employee, consistent with s.62 of the Fair Work Act. This is an increase of 69 cents per hour on the transitional national minimum wage.
Fair Work Australia’s increased minimum wage will be effective from July 1st 2010.
The ACTU has welcomed the decision of Fair Work Australia Minimum Wage Panel, ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence Fair Work Australia had comprehensively accepted the ACTU’s case who had argued for a $27 per week increase.
“Today’s decision is a very good outcome for working Australians that goes a long way towards restoring the real value of wages for the most low-paid and vulnerable members of the workforce,” said ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Greg Evans argued that jobs would be lost as the economy could not afford anything more than a $12.50 increase in wages per week.
“The minimum wage affects those areas of the economy that at the moment are particularly vulnerable – those are the areas of retail, of hospitality and tourism – they are particularly vulnerable to what’s been a fairly subdued consumer demand condition,” Mr Evans said.
“So we need to make sure that any increase is reasonable and affordable.”