Australia’s minimum wage rises 2.5% but increase delayed for pandemic-hit industries

Original article by Sarah Martin
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 17-Jun-21

The Fair Work Commission has rejected the ACTU’s push for the minimum wage to be increased by 3.5 per cent, or $26.38 per week. The nation’s lowest-paid workers will instead receive an extra $18.80 a week, lifting the minimum wage to $20.33 an hour or $772.60 a week. The minimum wage rose by 1.75 per cent ($13 a week) in 2020, and FWC president Iain Ross says the larger increase in 2021 is warranted given the economic rebound. The above-inflation wage rise will generally take effect on 1 July, but the FWC has again delayed the increase for workers in sectors that have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The wage rise will be delayed until September for employees covered by the general retail award and November for workers in sectors such as aviation and tourism.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

Wage freeze needed due to vaccine delays

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 22-Apr-21

The Restaurant & Catering Industry Association has urged the Fair Work Commission to take into account the delay in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines when deciding whether to increase the minimum wage. The RCIA contends that the minimum wage should either be left at its current level in 2021-22 or any increase for workers in hard-hit industries should be delayed until February 2022. ACTU secretary Sally McManus argues that a minimum wage freeze would result in a pay cut in real terms for one in five workers at a time when domestic spending is essential to Australia’s economic recovery.

CORPORATES
RESTAURANT AND CATERING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

Job ads targeting migrants overwhelmingly offering below the minimum wage

Original article by Isobel Roe
abc.net au – Page: Online : 14-Dec-20

Unions New South Wales looked at 3,000 job advertisements in foreign languages and aimed at migrant workers and found that 88 per cent were offering below award rates. The rate of job ads offering illegal pay rates has risen over 14 per cent since the start of the pandemic, while Unions NSW’s latest survey found that the construction and cleaning sectors were the worst offenders in terms of paying below the minimum wage. Migrant workers are reluctant to pursue complaints over poor wage rates for fear it could put their visa status at risk.

CORPORATES
UNIONS NSW

Highest minimum wage rate to hurt recovery

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 27-Jul-20

Data from the OECD shows that Australia has the world’s highest minimum wage, at $12.60 per hour when measured in purchasing-power adjusted US dollars. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox says the data refutes arguments that the nation’s minimum wage is too low; he warns that its high level will ensure that younger people and those with limited skills will face longer periods of unemployment and underemployment. Willox adds that the minimum wage has increased by 8.5 per cent since 2017, with the Fair Work Commission approving a 1.75 per cent rise in June.

CORPORATES
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Wage rise an assault on small business

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 3 : 20-Jun-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has criticised the decision to increase the minimum wage at a time when the economy and the labour market have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox warns that the minimum wage rise of 1.75 per cent will affect hiring intentions at a time when unemployment and underemployment have increased sharply. Professor Mark Wooden is the only member of the Fair Work Commission’s wage panel to have pushed for the minimum wage to be frozen for 12 months.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Survivor firms can pay $30 rise: ACTU

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 11-Jun-20

The Fair Work Commission will shortly hand down its decision on a minimum wage increase. The ACTU is pushing for a four per cent increase in the minimum wage, which equates to $30 a week. Trevor Clarke of the ACTU has told the FWC that businesses which are still operating as the economy emerges from the pandemic have the capacity to absorb this increase, as the demise of rivals means they have less competition. Employer groups contend that the economy is yet to feel the full impact of the coronavirus.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, ACTU

Unions reject calls to halt wage increase

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 6 : 1-Jun-20

The Australian Industry Group is against any increase in the minimum wage in 2020, with CEO Innes Willox noting it is the first time in 30 years that it has completely opposed a rise. Willox says increasing the minimum wage is not in anyone’s interest, and if the Fair Work Commission does decide to do so it should be delayed until January 2021. Unions are seeking a $30-per-week increase in the minimum wage, while the Shop, Distributive & ­Allied Employees’ Association states that there should be a freeze on planned cuts to penalty rates if the FWC does not award an increase in the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Pandemic pain to hit wage rises

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 15-May-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson says the latest jobs data underlines the need for the minimum wage to remain unchanged in 2020. He warns that an increase in the minimum wage would jeopardise more jobs. Fair Work Commission president Ian Ross has flagged the possibility that a minimum wage rise could be delayed for companies that are receiving the JobKeeper wage subsidy. However, the ACTU opposes any delay; it is pushing for a minimum wage rise of four per cent, or $30 a week.

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

ACTU wage bid ‘damaging’, puts recovery at risk

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 6-May-20

The ACTU has called for the minimum wage to be increased by four per cent in 2020, or $30 a week. Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has warned that the ACTU’s wage claim could jeopardise Australia’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry contends that it would increase the financial strain on businesses that are already battling during the crisis.

CORPORATES
ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

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