Minimum wage to increase; delays for COVID-19 affected awards

Minimum wage to increase; delays for COVID-19 affected awards

17 June 2021 Authored by: Megan Cheng, Belinda Winter   |   Topics: Workplace relations and safety

What are the minimum wage increases?

The national minimum wage will increase to $772.60 per week (or $20.33 an hour) from 1 July 2021. The weekly rate is based on a 38-hour week for a full-time employee. This constitutes an increase of $18.80 per week, or 49 cents an hour.

Additionally, minimum wages in all modern awards will increase by 2.5%. Similar to last year, industries that have been less affected by COVID-19 will receive the increase from 1 July 2021. However, the General Retail Industry Award 2020 will not receive its increase until 1 September 2021, and Modern Awards in the aviation, hospitality, tourism and fitness industries, along with some areas of retail trade, will have their increases delayed until 1 November 2021.

Employers should check the updated wage rates in the applicable Modern Award, including when it will become effective.

The 2.5% increase will also apply to:

  • junior employees
  • employees to whom training arrangements apply
  • employees with a disability.

Employers should check if there are any additional costs to any piece rates or allowances that use the base rate of pay in the Modern Award for calculation.

For those employers utilising the annualised wage provisions that exist in some Modern Awards, now would be an appropriate time to review whether the annual wage being paid still satisfies the requirements of the Award, or whether your employees need to be updated in writing of any change to the number of overtime hours that can be worked by an employee in a pay period.

Information about the minimum wage increases, including a breakdown of the date the increase will come into effect for each Modern Award, is available from: https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/wage-reviews/2020-21/decisions/2021fwcfb3500.pdf or https://www.fwc.gov.au/awards-agreements/minimum-wages-conditions/annual-wage-reviews/annual-wage-review-2020-21

For further assistance or advice on how this applies for your business, please contact a member of our workplace relations and safety team.

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