What is the minimum wage in Australia?
Australia’s minimum wage as it exists currently is $740.80 per week, based on Australia’s 38-hour work week. This breaks down to an hourly rate of $19.49. Each year, Australia’s Fair Work Commission (FWC) conducts an annual wage review and sets the minimum rates of pay thanks to the Fair Work Act 2009. In 2019, we saw another pay rise, the tenth straight year in which this was the case.
Minimum wages increased from $13.74 to $14.31 per hour from 2007 to 2008. In 2009, the FWC did not change the hourly minimum wage rates. However, after 2009, the organisation increased the minimum wage each year. In 2018, the hourly minimum wage was $18.93, resulting in weekly earnings of $719.20.
Obviously, this puts a lot of pressure on you as a business owner. When the FWC increases the minimum wage each year, it puts more pressure on you to increase revenue to meet the additional labor expenses. An increase of $20 per week for a worker who works 50 weeks results in an additional $1,000 in earnings per year.
If you have 10 employees, this means that you’ll end up spending $10,000 or more on increased wages. You may have to decide whether you can afford to keep the employees at that rate. The downside to this is that you lose valuable productivity and working hours if you let someone go. So, when hiring an employee, you should try to think not just about this year, but about future years as well.
Lastly, the minimum wage Australia 2019 rates are in place until the FWC announces changes. We can expect the FWC to announce the minimum wage Australia 2020 rates sometime during the month of May. The rates kick in on the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2020.
Economists suggest that minimum wage growth between 2019 and 2020 could be as high as 5%, with weekly earnings increasing to approximately $780.