Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 19 : 2-Oct-19
Perth-based conglomerate Wesfarmers has attributed its latest wage underpayment scandal to a payroll error. A preliminary estimate suggests that the staff were underpaid about $15m in total, although the final figure could potentially be much higher. The error was detected during testing of a new payroll system, which found that some 2,000 current and 4,000 former employees of its industrial and safety division had been underpaid for nine years. Wesfarmers’ Bunnings hardware chain recently admitted to underpaying the superannuation entitlements of some part-time employees.
WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, BUNNINGS GROUP LIMITED, BLACKWOODS, WORKWEAR GROUP, COREGAS, GREENCAP LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT
Original article by James Hall
News.com.au – Page: Online : 26-Sep-19
Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe has criticised the large salaries of the nation’s top business executives at a time of low wages growth. Lowe argues that CEOs should not be rewarded with performance-based incentives merely for doing their job, while he says ordinary Australians should receive a wage increase of at least three per cent. His comments follow revelations that Qantas CEO Alan Joyce received total remuneration of almost $24m in fiscal 2018. Lowe himself receives a base salary of $903,000.
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED – ASX QAN
Original article by Robert Gottliebsen
The Australian – Page: 25 : 25-Sep-19
Record low interest rates are having a direct impact on the Australian labour market, by forcing older people to delay retirement and remain in full-time work for longer than they had intended. This is in turn reducing the employment opportunities for younger Australians, forcing many of them to take up casual roles or jobs in the ‘gig’ economy. Economist Callam Pickering notes that the proportion of younger workers who are underemployed has increased from about 11 per cent in 2008 to nearly 18 per cent. The trend for older people to continue working full-time is also dampening wages growth, as their priority is continuity of income rather than pay rises.
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA
Original article by David Peetz
The New Daily – Page: Online : 10-Sep-19
Australian nominal wage growth has been under half the OECD average since 2013, according to Jim Stanford from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. A senior Treasury official recently suggested low wage growth could be due to workers not changing jobs, while Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has contended caps on civil service pay rises might be another factor. A further factor behind low wage growth that neither Lowe or the Treasury official seemed to take into account is the reduction in worker bargaining power that has resulted from the fall in unionisation over recent decades.
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC CO-OPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA
Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 26-Aug-19
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will use a Business Council of Australia speech on 26 August to stress the need for the corporate sector to take action to boost productivity and wages. He will argue that lifting the nation’s average annual rate of productivity growth from about 1.1 per cent at present to 1.5 per cent would boost the economy by $70bn over the next decade and increase real wages by four per cent. Frydenberg will also urge business leaders to increase capital investment, including in new technologies, rather than focusing on returning capital to investors via share buybacks and special dividends.
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA
Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 16-Aug-19
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on 15 August that full-time employees are earning an average of $1634.80 a week for ordinary time work. This represents an increase of 3.1 per cent for the year to May, and compares to an increase of 2.7 per cent for the previous year. Professor Mark Wooden from Melbourne University noted that with the CPI at 1.5 per cent, weekly earnings are well above inflation. By way of contrast to the average earnings data, the wage price index (WPI) has remained at 2.3 per cent for the first half of 2019.
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 15-Aug-19
The Australian Bureau of Statistics advised on 14 August that overall wages had increased by 0.6 per cent in the June quarter. Public sector wages rose by 0.8 per cent, while private sector wages were up by just 0.5 per cent. For the year to June, public sector wages were up by 2.6 per cent, while private sector wages rose by 2.3 per cent. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe had stated on 9 August that federal and state governments should lift caps on public sector wages; he claimed the caps were impeding general salary increases. However, his calls to lift caps were attacked by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE
Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 2-Aug-19
Data from the Attorney-General’s Department shows that public sector enterprise agreements that were approved in the March quarter included wage increases of 2.4 per cent, while wages growth under private sector agreements was 2.7 per cent. However, the data excludes 29 per cent of new agreements because they featured ‘non-quantifiable’ wage increases. They included enterprise agreements for Woolworths and David Jones employees, which link pay rises to increases in the minimum wage.
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, DAVID JONES LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, BUPA AGED CARE, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED. CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK
Original article by Richard Ferguson, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 31-Jul-19
Shadow financial services minister Stephen Jones says the federal government should stimulate the economy and wages growth by increasing salaries in the public sector. He argues that the government is a major employer and it should "lead by example" in boosting wages. His comments follow the release of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey data, which highlights the low growth in average income since the global financial crisis. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann contends that public sector employees receive "reasonable and affordable" pay rises via workplace bargaining.
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ACTU, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH
Original article by Ewin Hannan, Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 2 : 17-Jul-19
The Reserve Bank of Australia’s analysis of wage price index data shows that the size of wage increases and the frequency of pay rises has declined since 2013. The RBA’s Natasha Cassidy notes that there has also been a significant increase in the proportion of workers who have been subject to a wage freeze of at least 12 months. Meanwhile, ACTU secretary Sally McManus has criticised the Treasury over research which suggested that the reluctance of workers to change jobs has contributed to low wages growth.
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY