National Wage Case decision released
By Craig Joy - Craig Joy Workplace Consulting
National Wage Case (Minimum Wage Review)
The new wage decision has now been released. A rise of 3.0% will apply to all Award minimum rates, and the National Minimum Wage will rise to $740.80 for a 38 hour week, or $19.49 per hour for adult full-time employees.
The Order will operate from the “first full pay period on or after 1st July. “First full pay period” means that, for example, if a pay period commences in late June and ends in July, the rise is not effective during that pay period, but will be effective from the next full pay period, not simply from the 1st of July.
The Commission will now proceed to update the rates in awards, which are available from the Commission via the link https://www.fwc.gov.au/awards-and-agreements/awards/modern-awards/modern-awards-list
Once the Awards are updated, the front page of the Award will indicate a variation dated June 2019, and will provide a link to the previous pay tables. The pay tables will show “01Jul19” at the top. Updates of the various Awards will be done progressively over the coming weeks, so it is not possible to say which ones will be done when, but they should all be done by the end of June.
Again I recommend that anyone who has need to regularly consult the Award, should subscribe to the Award via this web site. You can subscribe for free and you will be emailed whenever the Award changes. When you click on your award it will take you to your Award’s page, and at the top is the option to subscribe, so follow that.
Remember, the Award will still have “2010” in its title on the front page – that’s the name of the document, not a reference to when it was updated. The Award will still have the same title (such as Clerk’s Private Sector Award 2010), because the pay rates change, not the title, so don’t go looking for the “2019 Award”. They will all continue to be called “2010 Awards” until their next review version is published. That started in 2014 but is not yet finished.
For those with Enterprise Agreements in place, if those adopt the national wage case decision, then the minimum rates under those Agreements need to be increased by 3.0%. Agreements which stipulate a set percentage increase in July will need to be adjusted by the relevant amount. As always, I am available to update pay tables as necessary – just let me know if you want me to do that.
There is always confusion about what impact this decision has, and what employees are entitled to. It does not mean that employees are all entitled to a 3.0% pay increase, unless they are paid the minimum award amount, or your employment contract says that they get the national wage case increase.
Otherwise, employees who are already paid above the new minimums are not actually entitled to a pay rise. Every year I hear of employees who reckon they have been robbed of their pay rise, because they did not get the national wage rise. I recommend that specific discussions be had with employees surrounding this issue, to ensure that they are aware of what they actually are (or are not) entitled to.
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