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FWC delivers minimum wage increase

Money bag with the word Salary and arrow to down. lower salary, wage rates. demotion, career decline. lowering the standard of living. wage cuts. decrease in profits and family budget

The Fair Work Commission delivered a pay rise to 2.2 million Australians on Thursday, as it confirmed it will raise the minimum wage by 3 per cent as of July 1, 2019.

The increased minimum wage will amount to $740.80 a week, or $19.49 an hour. That is $21.60 per week more than the current weekly figure. All modern award minimum wages will also increase by 3 per cent.

The National Retailers Association warned that this increase could create problems for retailers, as they head into a potentially more challenging period ahead.

“The NRA remains concerned that the challenging period experienced by the sector is not over, which is why we advocated for a minimum wage increase of no more than 1.8 per cent,” NRA chief executive Dominique Lamb said.

“Although we remain wary about the impact this rise may have on mum-and-dad small businesses, we most certainly welcome the fact that the FWC strongly rejected the job-destroying increase of 6 per cent proposed by the [Australian Council of Trade Unions].”

FWC president Ian Ross said the current economic conditions justified the wage increase, and that it was not likely to see a measurable negative impact on employment.

Employsure founder and managing director of workplace relations Ed Mallett noted that the decision has a disproportionate effect on small businesses. Customers likely won’t see a 3 per cent rise in prices, meaning businesses will need to make up the difference themselves.

“In just over a month, businesses will need to absorb these changes and will be expected to be compliant,” Mallett said.

“Wages have been a part of the national debate for the past few months and it’s important to strike a balance between employees and employers.

“Wages will always change and that is just the nature of the economy, but that doesn’t mean businesses won’t struggle.”

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