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The Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel has awarded a 1.75% increase to the national minimum wage and the minimum wages in Modern Awards.
Accordingly, all Modern Award minimum weekly wages will be increased by 1.75%. However, the increase will apply to different groups of Modern Awards from different dates in order to accommodate for the adverse effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
01 July 2020: National Minimum Wage and Group 1 Awards
Group 1 applied to industries and sectors less affected by the pandemic. It includes frontline health care and social assistance workers, teachers and child care workers, and workers in other essential services who have continued to work throughout the pandemic to keep the community safe and the economy functioning. The Modern Awards in Group 1 include:
- Children’s Services Award 2010
- Cleaning Services Award 2010
- Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2020
- Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010
- Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020
- Nurses Award 2010
- Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010
01 November 2020: Group 2 Awards
Group 2 applied to industries and sectors that were mildly affected by the pandemic. It primarily includes construction and manufacturing workers. It also covers workers in services who may have continued to work throughout the pandemic with a reduced tempo or had a brief stand-down period but are not considered to have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Modern Awards in Group 2 include:
- Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010
- Clerks—Private Sector Award 2020
- Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010
- Gardening and Landscaping Services Award 2020
- Legal Services Award 2020
- Local Government Industry Award 2020
- Mining Industry Award 2020
- Pastoral Award 2010
- Professional Employees Award 2020
- Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020
- Security Services Industry Award 2020
- Sugar Industry Award 2020
01 February 2020: Group 3 Awards
Group 3 applied to industries and sectors that were severely affected by the pandemic. It primarily includes accommodation and food services, arts and recreation service and tourism related industries. It also covers workers in industries such as retail trade and beauty, as well as the airline industry which, due to Government restrictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic, were significantly impacted. The Modern Awards in Group 3 include:
- Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020
- Commercial Sales Award 2020
- Fast Food Industry Award 2010
- General Retail Industry Award 2010
- Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010
- Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
- Live Performance Award 2010
- Nursery Award 2020
- Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2010
- Restaurant Industry Award 2020
The increase applies to minimum wages for all employees, including junior employees, trainees and apprentices, employees with disability, and to piece rates. Weekly wages will be rounded to the nearest 10 cents.
The national minimum wage will be $753.80 per week or $19.84 per hour. This constitutes an increase of $13.00 per week to the weekly rate or 35 cents per hour to the hourly rate.
If an Enterprise Agreement applies to an employee and the employee would otherwise be covered by a Modern Award, then the employee’s base rate of pay under the Enterprise Agreement must not be less than the base rate of pay that would be payable to the employee under the Modern Award.
If an Enterprise Agreement applies to an employee and the employee is not covered by a Modern Award, then the employee’s base rate of pay under the Enterprise Agreement must not be less than the national minimum wage.
If no Enterprise Agreement or Modern Award applies to an employee, then the employee cannot be paid less than the national minimum wage.
The wage submissions from the major industrial bodies were as follows:
- ACCI proposed that there should be no increase, but if there were an increase it should not operate 01 January 2021;
- AiG also proposed that there should be no increase; but if there were an increase it should not operate until after 01 January 2021 and
- ACTU suggested a 4% increase, and opposed any deferral of an increase.
Should you require further information, please do not hesitate contacting South Geldard Lawyers.
It is important to seek specific advice regarding your circumstances as this fact sheet provides general information only and does not constitute legal advice.
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