By Bethany Silverman

Employers should be aware that from the first full pay period on or after 1 February 2021, 27 Modern Awards in Group 3 will receive a 1.75% increase in minimum wages. Retail trade, aviation, fitness and hospitality (which includes accommodation and food services, and tourism) are just some of the industries affected.

Employers in these industries will be required to review and update their employees’ wages from 1 February 2021 under the Fair Work Commission’s Wage Decision. The decision, which was handed down on 19 June 2020, provided for a 1.75% increase to minimum wages, but staggered the increase across three groups to reflect the extent to which COVID-19 impacted different industries. The full list of Group 3 Modern Awards can be found here.

This update to wages also serves as a timely reminder of the need to regularly review wage rates for all employees, as recently there’s been a significant focus by the Fair Work Ombudsman on wage compliance and underpayment liabilities. Employers should conduct an annual review of employee wages and salaries, to ensure they comply with the applicable award to avoid the significant penalties that apply for non-compliance.

Additionally, employers operating under an enterprise agreement will also need to review their employees’ wages from 1 February 2021, to ensure all employees are being paid at or above the new minimum wage rates.

If you have any questions about these increases to the award rates or to discuss how to prepare for these changes in your business, please contact the HR Assured team.

Bethany Silverman is a qualified Senior Workplace Relations Consultant at FCB Group and HR Assured. She regularly provides advice to a wide range of businesses in respect of compliance with workplace laws and managing complex matters including disciplinary and performance management processes and terminations.