From 1 July, Australia is set to implement a series of legal changes, including adjustments to minimum wages.
Among the notable changes is an increase in the national minimum wage to $23.23 per hour, marking a significant rise from the previous rate of $21.38. For full-time employees working 38 hours a week, this equates to a weekly income of $882.80, representing a $70.20 increase from the previous figure of $812.60.
The latest adjustments encompass a 5.75% boost to minimum award wages, with the revised rates taking effect during the first pay period commencing on or after Saturday.
Moreover, registered nurses, personal care workers, homecare workers, and other aged care staff will also enjoy a 15% rise in award wages. When combined with the minimum wage increase, employees in the aged-care sector could potentially benefit from a wage hike of 20% or more.
Enterprise bargaining agreements
Meanwhile, statistics from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations reveal that workers covered by enterprise bargaining agreements signed in the March quarter experienced an average annualised pay rise of 3.7%. These agreements reflect the highest rate of increase since March 2012, surpassing the average annual wage rise of 2.7% found in the existing stock of 10,940 enterprise agreements.
Workers in the private sector had the most to gain from enterprise bargaining, with 807 agreements signed in the March quarter alone, resulting in an average annual pay increase of 3.9% for more than 100,000 workers.
Meanwhile, the public sector closed 34 agreements, resulting in average annual pay rises of 3.4%. This represents a notable increase compared to the typical 2% to 2.5% raises witnessed in recent years.
Private sector pay rises
Notably, the finance sector exhibited the highest average wage increases at 5.3%, albeit with only two agreements signed during the period. The hospitality industry followed closely behind, with five agreements entailing an average annualised wage increase of 4.9%.
As quoted in the Australian Financial Review, NAB economist Taylor Nugent said that newly negotiated collective agreements – which typically span two to three years – are incorporating significantly higher pay growth than their predecessors.
"While still below the rate of inflation, new agreements haven’t had wage increases this high on average since 2012," Nugent said.
As Australia ushers in these legal changes, employees across various sectors can anticipate improved wages, with the potential for a more robust labour market and economic growth in the near future.