Australia’s minimum wage to increase by 5.75 per cent

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced that minimum wage and modern award wages will increase 5.75 per cent from 1 July 2023.

Approximately 20 per cent of Australians are paid minimum award rates and 0.7 per cent earn the national minimum wage, which is the lowest rate.

For the lowest paid, they will see their pay rise from $21.38 per hour, or $812.60 per week, to $23.23 per hour, or $882.80 per week.

In a statement, the FWC said inflation is reducing the real value of modern award-reliant employees’ incomes and causing household financial stress.

“In our consideration, we have placed significant weight on the impact of the current rate of inflation on the ability of modern award-reliant employees, especially the low paid, to meet their basic financial needs.

“We are confident that the increase we have determined will make only a modest contribution to total wages growth in 2023-24 and will consequently not cause or contribute to any wage-price spiral.”

Lindsay Carroll, Legal Director at the National Retail Association (NRA), predicted many businesses would be forced to cut work hours for employees or lay off staff.

“Frankly, we are disappointed that the Commission could be so out of touch with the realities of most Australian businesses. At every turn business owners are being crunched with additional costs – interest rates, rent, electricity and they were already facing an increase in the superannuation guarantee from July 1.

“Now they are expected to find an additional 5.75 per cent for their wages bill at a time when costs are rising across the board and consumers are tightening their belts.”

A summary of the Fair Work Commission’s decision is available here

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