From 1 November 2021, minimum wages in 21 awards were increased. If you are not paying your employees this new rate of pay, you may find yourself facing significant penalties for failure to comply with the Fair Work Ombudsman. This increase is to be applied to anyone who is paid the minimum award wages or the national minimum wages.
As an employer of workers, you must pay them a fair wage according to the award that their profession exists under. That wage must meet the minimum wage expectations for the award, which is the minimum amount an employee can be paid for the work that they’re doing. Employees may be paid more than that wage, but the bare minimum that they can be paid is set out in the awards and as a part of the national minimum wage base rate.
The national minimum wage was increased from $19.84 per hour to $20.33 per hour, or 772.60 per week (increased from $753.80). This increase should have applied from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2021. In addition, employees who are covered by awards should also have had their base rates increased by 2.5 per cent, though these increases may begin on different dates for different groups of awards.
Most award wage increases applied from 1 July 2021, though there were 21 awards where the Fair Work Commission deemed there to be exceptional circumstances in place that would affect the increase. Those 21 awards were increased from 1 November 2021, and include:
• Pilots Award
• Cabin Crew Award
• Airline Ground Staff Award
• Airport Award
• Alpine Resorts Award
• Amusement Award
• Dry Cleaning and Laundry Award
• Fitness Award
• Hair and Beauty Award
• Hospitality Award
• Live Performance Award
• Models Award
• Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award
• Nursery Award
• Racing Clubs Events Award
• Racing Ground Maintenance Award
• Registered Clubs Award
• Restaurant Award
• Sporting Organisations Award
• Travelling Shows Award
• Wine Award
This increase is a result of the Fair Work Commission’s announcement after conducting its Annual Wage Review. The Fair Work Commission is the independent national workplace relations tribunal. It is responsible for maintaining a safety net of minimum wages and employment conditions, as well as a range of other workplace functions and regulations.
Workplaces are expected to ensure that all of their employees are being treated fairly and paid the minimum rate relevant to their circumstances (award/base minimum rate).
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their pay and compliance requirements.
Are you concerned about potential non-compliance with the new minimum wage, want to know more about the other increases to different kinds of rewards? Trying to get your head wrapped around the new superannuation guarantee requirements, or after some business planning advice in the approach to the new year? We’re the people you can speak to about any concerns you may have for your business and its future.