Millions of Australians to see biggest pay increase in years
The Fair Work Commission is expected to put in place a 4% to 4.5% nominal increase to the national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages.
This comes after the completion of the 2021-22 Annual Wage Review to determine whether to raise the national minimum wage from A$20.33 (US$14.60).
An increase of 4% would see the minimum wage grow by 81 cents per hour to A$21.14, while an increase of 4.5% would see a jump of 91 cents per hour to A$21.24. This would be the biggest percentage increase to the minimum wage since 2010 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
With inflation now at 5.1%, an increase of this size would have a huge impact on the more than 2.3 million Australians currently earning minimum wage across the country.
However, it is not just minimum wage workers that could be better off, with the Reserve Bank of Australia estimating that 40% of employees or about 5,000 people could be directly or indirectly impacted by the wage review, according to the Daily Mail.
This is because an increase to the national minimum wage could encourage millions of workers to ask for a pay rise or see them make new collective agreements with their employers.
However, a wage increase below the current inflation rate will still mean many Australians will effectively be dealing with real wage cuts, with low-income earners in particular feeling the pressures from the rising cost of living.