Call to delay minimum wage rise

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 17-Mar-20

The Australian Industry Group has not made a recommendation on an increase in the minimum wage in its submission to the Fair Work Commission. It has cited the uncertain outlook for the economy by 1 July, when any rise in the minimum wage is slated to take effect. Ai Group has also urged a delay in any such increase until 15 July; it argues that the FWC should hold off on finalising its wage review until after the release of national accounts data on 3 July. Ai Group CEO Innes Willox has warned that every segment of the economy will be affected by the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Bosses call for wages freeze, or jobs will go

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 16-Mar-20

Master Grocers Australia has urged the Fair Work Commission to freeze award pay rates in the retail sector for 12 months in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The MGA warns in its submission to the FWC’s annual review of the minimum wage that the impact of the coronavirus is likely to be felt for at least a year, so it is not an appropriate time to be increasing award wages. The MGA also contends that a small increase in the minimum wage may be justified, but not the three per cent rise in 2019. Most workers employed by MGA members are paid minimum award rates.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, MASTER GROCERS’ AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

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