Australian low-paid workers get a 3.75 per cent nominal wage increase but are still worse off in real terms

On June 4, 2024, Australia’s minimum wage setting authority – the Fair Work Commission (FWC) issued their decision in the – Annual Wage Review 2023-24 – which provides for wage increases for the lowest-paid workers – around 0.7 per cent of employees (around 79.2 thousand) in Australia. In turn, around 20.7 per cent of all employees, who are on the lowest tier of their pay award (grade) receive a flow-on effect. The FWC “decided to increase the National Minimum Wage and all modern award minimum wage rates by 3.75 per cent, effective from 1 July 2024”. The decision reflected concerns for “cost-of-living pressures” being particularly endured by “those who are low paid and live in low-income households”. However, the decision, which was vehemently opposed by the employers, still leaves the lowest paid workers worse off in real terms compared to where they were at the onset of the pandemic. We should have done better than that.

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