New minimum wage set by FWC

Drivers’ rate to increase as Fair Work Commission raises modern award minimum wages by 2.4 per cent


The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has increased the modern award minimum wage and the national minimum wage (NMW) by 2.4 per cent each.

Handing out its decision on the Annual Wage Review 2015–16 yesterday, the commission announced a weekly $15.80 increase from last year to $672.70 a week or $17.70 an hour.

The FWC decision means drivers employed under the Road Transport and Distribution Award or the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award will see an increase in their pay package as the new financial year begins.

The new order comes into effect from July 1.

The commission’s decision includes "no exceptional circumstances" to warrant a deferral of the new standard minimum rate.

The decision comes as the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) sought an increase of $30 per week to $686.90 (4.6 per cent) increase, while the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry called for a smaller increase – no more than 1.2 per cent.

"The general economic climate is robust, with some continued improvement in productivity and historically low levels of inflation and wages growth," FWC president Iain Ross says.

"The prevailing economic circumstances provide an opportunity to improve the relative living standards of the low paid and to enable them to better meet their needs.

"The level of increase we have decided upon will not lead to inflationary pressure and is highly unlikely to have any negative impact on employment.

"It will, however, mean a modest improvement in the real wages for those employees who are reliant on the NMW and modern award minimum wages."

The commission says the timetable for the 2016-17 wage review will be announced in the third quarter of 2016.



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