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Fair Work Commission 2024 Minimum Wage Review

Minimum Wage Increases

The Fair Work Commission has today, 3 June 2024, handed down the 2024 minimum wage review increasing the national minimum wage and all award wages by 3.75%, rebuffing a bid by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) for a 5% increase (plus a further 4% for employees in highly-feminised industries).

This decision will take the national minimum wage from $23.23 to $24.10 per hour, and from $882.80 to $915.90 a week. The change will operate from 1 July 2024, and will take effect in relation to a particular employee from the start of the employee’s first full pay period on or after 1 July 2024.

The FWC stated that its primary considerations in conducting this year’s Annual Wage Review were relative living standards, the needs of the low paid, workforce participation, the performance and competitiveness of the national economy, and the need to achieve gender equality.

The increase of 3.75% is broadly in line with forecast wages growth across the economy in 2024 and will make only a modest contribution to the total amount of wages growth in 2024. The FWC considers that the increase is consistent with the forecast return of the inflation rate to below 3 per cent in 2025.

Feminised industries 

Following the ACTU’s claim for wage increases in feminised industries, the FWC will also establish a program to look at and ‘address’ gender undervaluation in highly-feminised modern awards. Specifically, awards applying to early childhood education and care, disability care, social and community services, dental assistants, medical technicians, psychologists and other health professionals, and pharmacists. The Commission-initiated proceedings will commence shortly after the issue of this decision.

Implications For Employers

The consequences of this decision are significant, particularly in the current economic climate. Employers must ensure that employees whose rates of pay are at or around minimum rates are increased accordingly to avoid heavy fines and or back pay obligations. Further, that the impact of this decision on rates of pay under other instruments such as flexibility agreements and enterprise agreements are considered.

Disclaimer – This article is provided for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice.  It should not be relied upon and specific legal advice always be sought before taking any action.

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