The new minimum wage will mean an increase of $22.20 a week, $694.90 a week and 59 cents an hour.
Mosiqi Acharya

6 Jun 2017 - 1:43 PM  UPDATED 6 Jun 2017 - 1:44 PM

Australia's 2.3 million lowest paid workers will get a $22.20 a week pay rise.

Fair Work Commission president Justice Iain Ross said on Tuesday the national minimum wage will rise by 3.3 per cent to $694.90 a week from July 1.



   * $694.90 a week - increase of $22.20

   * $18.29 an hour - increase of 59 cents

   * 3.3 per cent increase (same for modern award minimum wages)

   * 2016 increase: $15.80 a week or 2.4 per cent


   * ACTU - $45 a week

   * Australian Industry Group - $10.10 a week or 1.5 per cent

   * Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry - $8.10 a week or 1.2 per cent

   * Australian Retailers Association - $8.10 a week or 1.2 per cent

   * Hospitality union United Voice - $87.30 a week


   * Fair Work Commission's decision directly affects more than 2.3 million employees who are reliant on minimum rates of pay

   * Federal government says of the 2.3 million Australians paid an award rate, the majority (70.3 per cent) are not low-paid

   * Government says about 196,300 (or 1.9 per cent of all employees) paid national minimum wage rate

   * Increase applies from July 1

The Fair Work Commission says its 3.3 per cent increase will not lead to inflationary pressure, and is highly unlikely to have any measurable negative impact on employment.

"It will, however, mean an improvement in the real wages for those employees who are reliant on the national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages and an improvement in their relative living standards," FWC president Justice Iain Ross said on Tuesday.

The increase is half the $45 a week the ACTU had called for, but above the $8.10 to $10.10 business groups wanted.

Modern award minimum wages will also rise by 3.3 per cent.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the modest pay increase amounted to only 59 cents an hour, and was not enough to raise people out of poverty.

"The minimum wage will now be just over $36,000 a year - that's not enough to support yourself, let alone a partner and a family anywhere in Australia," Ms McManus told reporters.

However, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is a significant increase that risks the job prospects of vulnerable people in the labour market, and puts pressure on award-reliant small businesses and large employers such as retail and hospitality.

"This will have a major impact on the economy," ACCI director of employment, education and training Jenny Lambert told reporters.

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman said it was a devastating decision for retailers.

He said the 3.3 per cent increase virtually negated Monday's transitional arrangements for Sunday penalty rate cuts, which proposed a five percentage point reduction from July 1 for fast food, hospitality, retail and pharmacy workers.

"Almost all of that lowering of that amount has now been eaten up by the decision of Fair Work today," Mr Zimmerman said.

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