The Fair Work Commission’s 2014-15 annual wage review is currently in progress. Through the review process, the Expert Panel for annual wage reviews will set the national minimum wage. The Panel can also choose to vary wage rates across the various classifications in one or more modern awards. The Panel is expected to hand down its decision in June 2015.
The Australian Government lodged its submission to the review on 27 March 2015. The submission urged the Panel to take a cautious approach, noting the challenging economic and labour market environment. The submission also encouraged the Panel to consider the need to boost employment and job creation and maintain the wages of those on the minimum wage or award classification wages. The submission notes that commentators often assume the national minimum wage rate applies to all of the 1.9 million employees paid award rates. In actual fact, there are around 157,000 people paid the national minimum wage rate, currently $16.87 per hour.
The Government’s submission is now available on the Fair Work Commission's website.
The submission refers to the latest economic and labour market data and forecasts, and discusses the role of the minimum wage and award classification wages. The submission also refers to the potential impact of the Panel’s decision on small business and employment, and the role of the tax-transfer system in addressing the needs of the low-paid.
Further information about the review can be found on the Fair Work Commission’s website.