By Nick Tindley & Caterina Apostolakos

Today, the Fair Work Commission’s Minimum Wage Panel (FWC) handed down its decision on the annual wage review. The decision provides an increase of 8.6 per cent to the National Minimum Wage, raising it to $23.23 per hour, effective from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2023.  Modern Award minimum wages for all classification levels, will increase by 5.75 per cent with those increases also effective from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2023.

In reaching its decision, the FWC considered economic and social concerns including:

  • a sharp rise in the cost of living;
  • a strong improvement in the labour market;
  • high inflationary pressures;
  • increases to superannuation contribution;
  • gender equality considerations, with the increase predominantly affecting award-covered female workers, thereby reducing the aggregate gender pay gap;
  • recent weak performance in productivity growth; and
  • impending economic slowdown and labour market weakening projected for the 2023/24 financial year

HR Assured is currently preparing comprehensive wage tables which will be distributed in due course to our clients.

What are your business’s next steps?

Employers should undertake the following steps:

  • review minimum rates of pay, terms and conditions for Award covered employees and process increases from the first full pay period in July if necessary;
  • review the salary of Award covered employees to ensure that the salary continues to result in the employee being better off as compared to what the employee would have received under the Award;
  • review the base rates of pay provided under any enterprise agreement to ensure that the base rate of pay is at least equivalent to the updated base rate of pay under the Award; and
  • engage and inform team members who will be undoubtedly receiving information from the media.

In the event your employees are covered by an enterprise agreement, it’s important to ensure that the base rates in those agreements remain at least equal to the new minimum Modern Award Rates.

For clients of HR Assured, if you have any questions about the minimum wage increase and what it means for your business, please reach out to our workplace experts via our 24/7 Telephone Advisory Service.

Nick Tindley is the Head of Workplace Relations and Advisory at HR Assured and Law Partner at our parent company, FCB. Nick has over fifteen years’ experience in providing industrial relations and employment law advice, with expertise in the retail industry.

Caterina Apostolakos is a Senior Workplace Relations Advisor at HR Assured. Caterina provides employment relations advice and support to our clients’ businesses on a wide range of matters.