The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced that Australia’s minimum wage and award wages will increase by 3.75 per cent from 1 July 2024.

The decision means that the national minimum wage will increase to $24.10 per hour and $915.91 per week, which is an increase of around $33 a week for a full-time, 38-hour worker, of which there are roughly 2.6 million in Australia.

The FWC said that in determining this level of increase, a primary consideration has been the cost-of-living pressures that modern award reliant employees, particularly those who are low paid and live in low-income households, continue to experience.

“The increase of 3.75 per cent which we have determined is broadly in line with forecast wages growth across the economy in 2024 and will make only a modest contribution to the total amount of wages growth in 2024. We consider therefore that this increase is consistent with the forecast return of the inflation rate to below 3 per cent in 2025.”

The decision contained an analysis of who the modern award-reliant worker in Australia is and found that it is predominantly female (58.1 per cent), most work part-time (65.2 per cent), are younger on average than the workforce as a whole and are disproportionately casual employees (49.7 per cent).

The review also determined to establish a program for the resolution of gender undervaluation issues which is due to be completed by the time of next year’s review, which the Australian Council of Trade Workers (ACTU) is disappointed that the FWC is not acting immediately on.

“The Fair Work Commission has accepted our argument that the wages of workers in feminised industries need to be higher, though they haven’t agreed with us that it should start immediately,” said Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary.

Despite this, the ACTU welcomed the pay increase stating that the decision allows people to keep up with inflation and have a small real wage increase.

“July will be a very positive month for Australian workers. Every working person will have significantly more in their bank accounts because of the Federal Government’s cost-of-living bonus through tax cuts, and for over 20 per cent of the workforce, this 3.75 per cent increase. This means that an entry-level retail or hospo worker will be $2,600 per year better off. A mid-level community sector worker will be $3,260 a year better off, and a forklift driver will be $3,170 better off.”

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