Australia’s lowest-paid workers are set to receive an $18.80-a-week wage increase.
The Fair Work Commission on Wednesday announced a 2.5 per cent increase to the national minimum wage, taking it to $20.33 an hour, or $772.60 a week for full-time workers.
More than two million people are on award rates of minimum pay for their industry, while almost 200,000 receive the national base wage.
The pay rise, however, will be delayed for workers in some sectors still under pressure from coronavirus restrictions.
Those that work in aviation, fitness, tourism and parts of retail and event sectors will have to wait until November 1, while other retail workers on award conditions will see their increase from September 1.
Following the announcement, the Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus said the increase had come about “because of the unions”, but said it was “extremely disappointing” that it had been delayed for some workers.
“Especially those who have worked throughout the pandemic and whose employers have posted record profits,” she said in a statement.
Unions had called for a 3.5 per cent increase – or an extra $26 per week – but the Morrison government warned against a major rise, arguing it could dampen employment in small business during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian Industry Group urged the commission to limit its increase to 1.1 per cent, or $8.29 a week.
The national minimum wage increased by 1.75 per cent to $753.80 a week, or $19.84 an hour, after last year’s review but the rise was delayed at least three months for most workers.