Check what you're owed: Minimum wage has now increased

Image courtesy of Alibi, Sydney

As we enter a few financial year, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is reminding employers that the national minimum wage has increased to $19.49 per hour (up from $18.93), or $740.80 per week (up from $719.20).

On 30 May 2019, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) announced a 3 per cent increase to the national minimum wage, following its Annual Wage Review. This increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2019.

However this 3 per cent increase falls short of last year’s 3.5 per cent minimum wage increase, which Fair Work Commission (FWC) president Iain Ross said is justified by the current economic conditions. 

The Australian Council of Trade Unions had previously called for a 6 per cent or $43 a week wage increase, but told the ABC: "This is a welcome pay rise for millions of low paid workers, especially in the face of further penalty rate cuts in a few weeks.”

The FWO is also reminding businesses that further changes to certain penalty rates in the Hospitality, Pharmacy, Fast Food and Retail industries are now in effect, following determination from the FWC.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said that workplace compliance issues are often traced back to employers failing to update rates of pay.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of free tools available to help employers comply with their workplace obligations, which have been updated to reflect the new pay rates. We urge all businesses to visit our Pay and Conditions Tool to check the lawful minimum rates that they need to pay their staff, or to contact us directly for assistance,” Ms Parker said.

For employees covered by an award, base rates have also increased by three per cent.

“We encourage workers who receive award wages, such as juniors, apprentices and trainees, to visit our Pay and Conditions Tool and familiarise yourself with your new rates of pay. If you are unsure which award applies to you, you can use our Find my award tool. Any workers with concerns about their pay should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman,” Ms Parker said.