The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced increases to minimum wages.
The national minimum wage – the minimum wage for all national system employees who are not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement – will increase by 5.2% or $40 a week. The national minimum wage will be $812.60 per week or $21.38 per hour.
Modern award minimum wage rates – the minimum wage specified in modern awards – will increase by 4.6%, provided the weekly increase is not less than $40 for a full-time adult employee.
In effect, modern award minimum wage rates above $869.60 per week will increase by 4.6% and wage rates below $869.60 per week will increase by $40 per week.
The FWC was satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to delay the wage increases until 1 October 2022 for modern awards in the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors. Outside those sectors, the increases will apply from 1 July 2022.
If you pay an employee less than the minimum wage provided for in their minimum wage instrument, your employee may have rights under legislation to claim the underpayment from you. The employee, a union or a Fair Work inspector may also seek to prosecute you for breaching the minimum wage instrument, and apply to a court to have a monetary penalty imposed on you.
You can find out more about your wage obligations in the Employment Law Practical Handbook chapter, Wages.