FWO issues reminder on new minimum wage law

The Fair Work Ombudsman is reminding employers of the 3.75 per cent minimum wage increase that came into effect yesterday and applies to eligible employees’ pay from the first full pay period.

The new National Minimum Wage is $915.90 per week (based on a 38-hour week for a full-time employee), or $24.10 per hour, an increase from $882.80 per week and $23.23 per hour. Meanwhile, casual employees entitled to the National Minimum Wage must receive a minimum of $30.13 per hour, which includes 25 per cent casual loading.

The National Minimum Wage is the base rate for adult employees in the national system who are not covered by an award or registered agreement.

The 3.75 per cent increase also applies from the first pay period starting on or after 1 July to the minimum wage rates within awards.

The increase may apply to employees covered by a registered agreement, as the base pay rate in a registered agreement can’t be less than the base pay rate in the relevant award.

Meanwhile, award and agreement-free junior employees get paid a percentage of the National Minimum Wage, using the age-based percentage scale in the Fair Work Commission’s order. Pay rates for employees under this category are based on the Miscellaneous Award 2020. There are special national minimum wages for award and agreement-free employees with disability.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth urged employers to check whether the 3.75 per cent increase applies to their employees and ensure they are paying workers correctly.

“Employers must pay their employees the correct wages. Employers and employees can use our free Pay Calculator and pay guides to check the lawful minimum pay rates applying from today, or contact us directly for assistance,” Booth said. “Rather than potentially having to back-pay employees and face court-imposed penalties down the track, employers should do the right thing from the start and pay applicable minimum wage increases from the first pay period starting on or after 1 July 2024.”

The FWO has updated its Pay Calculator to help employers and employees calculate the new pay rates. Employees who are unsure which award applies to them can use its Find my award tool.