On 31 May 2016, the Fair Work Commission lifted the Australia’s national minimum wage by 2.4 per cent, constituting an increase of $15.80 per week for the country’s lowest paid workers.
The increase will see Australian businesses paying $821.60 more per year per employee on the minimum wage.
The national minimum wage will be increased from $17.29 to $17.70 per hour or $656.90 to $672.70 per week, and is set to take place from the first pay period to commence on or after 1 July 2016.
More than 1.8 million people who are on the minimum wage will receive the increase from the beginning of July. A robust economic climate is said to be the reason behind the modest increase to Australia’s lowest paid workers, following strong labour market conditions and low inflation and wage growth rates.
However, business groups and unions have called the increase inconsistent and disappointing, pointing out that the rise makes for little change when in line with the rates of inflation.