Australian minimum wage to rise to $18.29 an hour

The national minimum wage in Australia is to increase by 3.3% to $18.29 (£10.65) an hour from 1 July 2017.

The increase, which forms part of the Fair Work Commission’s Annual wage review 2016-17 decision, will see the hourly minimum wage rise by $0.59 (£0.34) from $17.70 ($10.33). Minimum earnings for a 38-hour working week will rise by $22.20 (£12.96) to $694.90 (£404.66).

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, details of the proposed increase have been published before the effective date to allow the rates to be reviewed, with all feedback regarding the draft order to be collected by Thursday 15 June 2017.

Sally McMunus, secretary at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), said: “If there was any time in history where Australians needed a decent pay rise it is now […]. The Fair Work Commission made a decision to keep working people in poverty.

“It is now urgent that Australians’ wages are increased given wage growth in Australia is at a 76-year low, [organisation] profits are soaring, Treasury has banked on pay rises of 3.75%, the cost of living is rising and 700,000 people are about to get a penalty rate cut. If our current rules can’t deliver a decent pay rise, then they need to change.”

Russell Zimmerman, executive director at the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), said:“Our members are constantly experiencing significant cost pressures through international competition and advances in technology, therefore we believe this wage increase is unfavourable for all businesses operating in the retail sector.”