The minimum wage in Australia has now risen by $16 per week, a result of the annual wage review decision that came into effect yesterday.
Low paid Australians will see their wages increase by 2.5 per cent. Award rates will also be rising by 2.5 per cent.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) had initially requested wages increase by $27 per week; a rise they forecast would bring a $3.1 billion per year economic stimulus.
“Thanks to unions over 1.8 million of Australia’s lowest paid workers will receive an increase to their wages from today,” ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said.
“While every dollar helps, unfortunately there are still more than 1.8 million Australian workers and their families who are struggling to afford the basics on minimum wages that are at a record low as a percentage of average weekly earnings.”
Mr Oliver said the minimum wage rise, which moved to $656.90 from $640.90, would benefit workers in all types of jobs, particularly those in caring.
“Many minimum wage earners have been working all their lives caring for older Australians in aged or community care, working farms, cleaning schools and hospitals or looking after young children in childcare, they deserve to earn a decent wage,” Mr Oliver said.
“Workers should check their pay slip and make sure the increase has been passed on and if not then they need to be asking why.”