Earlier this year the Fair Work Commission announced an increase to minimum wages. While the increase of 1.75% was applied to the National minimum wage from 1 July 2020, the rollout to each Award was staged across three groups.
Group One Awards increased from 1 July 2020 and included:
- Frontline Heath Care & Social Assistance Workers
- Teachers and Child Care
- Other Essential Services
Group Two Awards increased from 1 November 2020 and included:
- Manufacturing and
- A range of other industries
The final group of Awards, Group Three, are yet to receive their increase as this has been delayed until 1 February 2021. The Award groups in this category include:
- Accommodation and Food Services
- Arts and Recreation Services
For a detailed list of the Awards included in Groups One, Two and Three, see the Fairwork Commission website.
What do employers need to do?
In order to remain compliant with the wage increase, employers should complete a wage review to ensure they are paying each employee in line with the new minimum rates for their relevant Modern Award.
The wage changes must be applied to the first full pay period on or after the new wage comes into effect. At the very least, employers must ensure their full-time employees are paid at least the National Minimum Wage, which is $19.84 per hour or $753.80 per week.
For employers who have Enterprise Agreements in place, you must ensure the base rates within your agreements do not fall below the National Minimum Wage or the relevant Modern Award.
Employers who fail to pay wages in accordance with the National Minimum Wage, or the requirements of the relevant Modern Award, risk breaching the Fair Work Act 2009. You could be subject to hefty fines and a requirement to back-pay staff if it’s found you have failed to correctly pay your staff.
Help is at hand
You don’t have to go it alone. The HR Dept is here to help you:
- Ensure your wage payments remain compliant
- Run annual wage reviews
- With any of your HR needs
We offer ad hoc support services as well as ongoing, regular assistance. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you and your business.