Minimum wage world’s highest

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Weekend Australian – Page: 2 : 13-Jul-19

Australia’s minimum wage was increased by 3.5 per cent in 2018, with the increase giving Australia the highest minimum wage in the world when adjusted for inflation and purchasing power. This is according to recent OECD figures, which do not take into account the latest three per cent increase in the minimum wage. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the OECD figures rebut union claims that the minimum wage system needs to be overhauled, although an ACTU spokesperson contends that it is a "basic principle of fairness" that no one who works full-time should be living in poverty.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Signs that wage rise pick-up is under way

Original article by Matthew Cranston, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 10-Jul-19

A number of large Australian companies have struck new enterprise agreements which include pay rises that are higher than the current level of wage growth. Some employers in sectors such as retailing and fast food are seeking to increase wages in line with the latest increase in the minimum wage. Meanwhile, Andrew Hanson of recruitment firm Robert Walters says the outlook for the economy and business conditions during the first half of 2019-20 means that more highly-skilled employees are unlikely to receive a significant pay rise.

CORPORATES
ROBERT WALTERS PTY LTD, McDONALD’S AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, HUNGRY JACK’S PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, BWS – BEER WINE SPIRITS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Minimum wage nowhere near keeping pace with rents

Original article by Killian Plastow
The New Daily – Page: Online : 4-Jun-19

The Fair Work Commission cited a fall in inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index, as the reason for a smaller increase in the minimum wage in 2019 than in 2018. Anglicare executive director Kasy Chambers notes that the CPI is based on a ‘basket of goods’ that does not include rent or housing costs. She says the CPI has only increased by 63 per cent since 1998, while housing costs have risen by 300 per cent over the same period. Australian Bureau of Statistics chief economist Bruce Hockman notes that there are other data sets that examine the sort of housing costs that Anglicare is referring to, but that the CPI was not intended to measure them.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ANGLICARE AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS

Minimum wage will rise 3 per cent to $740.80 a week on Fair Work ruling

Original article by Stephanie Chalmers
abc.net au – Page: Online : 31-May-19

The ACTU has described the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage by three per cent as a "win" for low-paid workers. The minimum wage will be increased to $19.49 an hour, or $740.80 per week, but the peak union body says it is still not a living wage. The ACTU had sought a six per cent increase in the minimum wage, after it rose by 3.5 per cent in 2018. The latest Wage Price Index data shows that annual growth in wages is currently about 2.3 per cent.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

FWC queries unions’ living wage

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 8 : 16-May-19

The Fair Work Commission heard the final day of evidence in its review of the minimum wage on 15 May. The ACTU wants the minimum wage to be increased to 60 per cent of median earnings over two years, in order to lift all workers out of poverty. FWC President Iain Ross warned that doing so could result in pay increases for all workers on the minimum wage, rather than just those living below the poverty line. He also said the tax and transfer system could be a more efficient way to address the issue of poverty than an increase in the minimum wage. The FWC’s decision on the minimum wage is expected to be announced by the end of May.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Employers fear payroll nightmare

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 15-May-19

The Fair Work Commission is expected to make a ruling on the minimum wage before the end of May. However, employers’ groups have warned of the potential payroll complications if Labor wins the federal election and pushes ahead with plans to make a new wage submission immediately upon taking office. Any increase in the minimum wage will take effect from 1 July, and Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has expressed concern that employers will not have enough time to apply the new pay rates if Labor seeks to make a new submission to the FWC.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, ACTU

ACTU leader to channel Hawke in Fair Work wage pitch

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 14-May-19

Michele O’Neil will become the first ACTU president since Bob Hawke to personally present the union movement’s case for a rise in the minimum wage. O’Neill will appear before the Fair Work Commission’s wage review panel on 15 May; the ACTU is seeking a six per cent increase in the minimum wage, followed by a 5.5 per cent rise in 2020. Meanwhile, Labor has advised the FWC that it will withdraw its current submission to the wage review if it wins the federal election, and will make a new one that will call for a "real wage increase to award rates".

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

Minimum wage is living wage by UK standard

Original article by David A Harvey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 5-Apr-19

The federal government has used its submission to the Fair Work Commission to argue that the minimum wage is now about 61 per cent of the median wage when the earnings of both full-time and part-time employees are taken into account. This is the benchmark used in the UK to determine that country’s living wage. In contrast, the ACTU wants a living wage to be based on the median earnings of full-time workers. The ACTU is seeking a six per cent increase in the minimum wage in 2018 and a further rise of 5.5 per cent in 2020.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, GREAT BRITAIN. LOW PAY COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Living wage for 1.2m in Labor pitch

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 26-Mar-19

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has indicated that Labor’s living wage policy would boost the income of low-income earners from mid-2020. Details of the policy will be announced on 26 March, but Shorten has signalled that the living wage will apply only to people on the minimum wage rather than workers who are on award wages. Shorten also says Labor will legislate to require the Fair Work Commission to take into account a broader range of factors than at present in setting the living wage. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox is among the critics of Labor’s living wage policy.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, ACTU

Labor push on minimum wage will hurt those it’s meant to help

Original article by Kurt Wallace
The Australian – Page: 14 : 22-Mar-19

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has committed to raising the minimum wage to become a "living wage" if Labor wins the 2019 election. The ACTU has stated that a living wage is needed so that no full-time worker is living in poverty, but under its definition of what is poor, someone earning $42,000 a year would be deemed to be living in poverty; many would take issue at this definition. Research based on the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey suggests that poverty is on the decline, while introducing a living wage will result in less jobs and fewer hours worked.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS LIMITED, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH