Employers reminded to increase minimum wages

Employers are reminded to increase the minimum wages of their employees to abide by changes made to the minimum wage from 1 July. Photo: Emma Darbin.


THE National minimum wage has increased to $20.33 per hour or $772.60 per week as of 1 July, 2021.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has issued a reminder to employers about the minimum wage increase, which was previously $19.84 per hour or $753.80 per week.

On 16 June 2021, the Fair Work Commission announced a 2.5 per cent increase to the national minimum wage, following its Annual Wage Review.

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This increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July.

Employees covered by awards will also have base rates increased by 2.5 per cent, however, these increases to award wages begin on different dates for different groups of awards.

Casual employees that the national minimum wage applies to must receive a minimum $25.41 per hour including their 25 per cent casual loading.

Most award wages will be increased from 1 July 2021, with the following exceptions:

  • wages in the Retail Award will increase from 1 September 2021;
  • wages in 21 other awards where the Fair Work Commission deemed there were exceptional circumstances will increase from 1 November 2021.

A list of these awards can be found at www.fairwork.gov.au.

Employees covered by awards will have their base rate increase from the first full pay period starting on or after the relevant date.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said workplaces are expected to ensure all their employees are paid at least the relevant minimum wage, in line with the Fair Work Commission’s decision.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman has free online tools available to help employers comply with their workplace obligations, which have been updated to reflect the new pay rates,” Ms Parker said.

“We urge all businesses to use our Pay and Conditions Tool to check the lawful minimum rates they need to pay their staff, or to contact us directly for free assistance.

“We encourage workers to use the Pay and Conditions Tool to check their rates of pay.”

If workers are unsure which award applies to them, they can use the Find my award tool.

“If employers and employees have any queries or concerns about pay rates, they can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free advice and assistance,” Ms Parker said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman enforces compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009, related legislation, awards and registered agreements and helps employers and employees by providing advice and education on pay rates and workplace conditions.

The Fair Work Commission is the independent national workplace relations tribunal which is responsible for maintaining a safety net of minimum wages and employment conditions, as well as a range of other workplace functions and regulation.

Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance.

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