Australian low-paid workers receive a 3.75% wage increase, but struggle to keep up with cost of living

# Australia’s Fair Work Commission Announces 3.75% Increase in National Minimum Wage for 2024

On June 4, 2024, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in Australia made the decision to increase the National Minimum Wage and all modern award minimum wage rates by 3.75% effective from July 1, 2024. This decision affects around 0.7% of employees in Australia directly and approximately 20.7% of workers who are on the lowest tier of their pay award, resulting in a flow-on effect for these workers.

Despite the increase, the FWC’s decision has been met with criticism from employers who argue that the rise is too high and will put pressure on businesses. However, the FWC defended their decision by stating that the increase is necessary due to the cost-of-living pressures faced by low-paid workers, particularly those in low-income households.

## FAQ

### Who is affected by the FWC decision?

The decision directly impacts approximately 0.7% of the Australian employee workforce who are reliant on the National Minimum Wage. Additionally, around 20.7% of workers are paid in accordance with minimum wage rates in modern awards and will see their wages increase as a result of this decision.

### What was the response from different parties?

Various parties, including the Australian Chamber Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), submitted bids to the FWC regarding the wage increase. While the ACCI demanded a limit to the increase, the ACTU pushed for a higher raise. Ultimately, the FWC decided on a 3.75% increase based on various factors including productivity growth and cost-of-living pressures.

### How does the FWC decision impact real wages?

The FWC decision aims to address the financial stress faced by low-paid workers, particularly in light of the pandemic. However, it is noted that despite the increase, real wages for modern award-reliant employees remain lower than they were five years ago.

## Conclusion

While the 3.75% increase in the National Minimum Wage and modern award minimum wage rates is a step in the right direction, it still falls short of fully addressing the challenges faced by low-paid workers in Australia. The decision reflects the ongoing struggle to balance wage increases with economic factors and cost-of-living pressures. Moving forward, it is crucial to continue advocating for fair wages and better living standards for all workers in the country.

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This article provides insights into the recent decision by Australia’s Fair Work Commission to increase the National Minimum Wage and modern award minimum wage rates. The decision, while aiming to alleviate financial stress for low-paid workers, has sparked debates and discussions within the economic landscape. By examining the key points and perspectives surrounding the wage increase, readers can gain a better understanding of the implications and challenges faced by workers in Australia.

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