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The national minimum wage rose yesterday, following on from a Fair Work decision last month to boost the pay packets of the country’s lowest paid workers. 

The 2.9 percent rise is due to impact the lives of 1.3 million Australians, with wages to rise $17 a week, to just above $606 per week.

This equates to almost $900 a year extra for a full-time employed minimum wage worker.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry had been calling for a $9.40 per week rise, and the ACTU a $26 rise.

The wage rise will affect businesses in all industries, after the Minimum Wage Panel rejected deferral and exemption requests from some sectors.

“In this review we have decided that the relevant statutory considerations favour a moderate increase, which will improve the real value of award wages and assist the living standards of the low paid,” Fair Work president Justice Iain Ross said.

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver is warning all employees to check they’re being paid according to the minimum wage.

“Now that the minimum wage has gone up, all workplace agreements and contracts need to be checked to make sure that the rates of pay stay above the legal minimum,” Oliver said.

“Workers should check their wages against the legal minimum rates to ensure they are not being underpaid thanks to the increase in the minimum wages.”

For more information on what you should now be paying your employees, click here.