This latest update from ‘Workplace Express’ is included for your information.

The Fair Work Commission’s minimum wage panel has decided to increase all award rates of pay by 2.6% in its 2013 annual wage review ruling, handed down today.

The decision increases the national weekly minimum wage by $15.80 to $622.20 (or 41c to $16.37 an hour) on July 1, slightly more than half of the ACTU’s $30 claim.

FWC President, Justice Iain Ross, Senior Deputy President Ian Watson, Commissioners Paula Spencer and Peter Hampton and John Vines, Professor Sue Richardson and Peter Dwyer took account of the 0.25% increase in the superannuation guarantee levy payable from July 1 and the effect of the carbon tax on inflation in reaching their decision. The panel said other factors contributing to a lower outcome than the 2.9% increase awarded last year were expectations of easing GDP growth and a slight increase in unemployment for 2013-14.

It described the result as “a small improvement in the real value of modern award minimum wages in 2013-14”. The panel rejected arguments from some employer groups that there should be different outcomes for certain modern awards, finding the proposals lacked sufficient merit.

The ACTU had argued for a flat $30 weekly increase for workers on the C10 metal industry rate and below, and 4.2% for workers above that rate (see Related Article). The AiG had supported a 1.75% increase to the national minimum wage and all other award rates, arguing this was effectively a 2% increase when the SGL rise is included. ACCI and its affiliates advocated a $5.80 increase to all award rates, but urged the tribunal to consider different treatment for industries “facing significant challenges”. The National Farmers’ Federation supported a $7.50 increase to all rates, while the Australian Hotels Association backed a 1% increase.

Make sure you flag this increase to your minimum rates. Employers paying significantly above the Award may choose to absorb the increase. The State wage decision is yet to be handed down.

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