Last updated: July 12, 2022

The Fair Work Commission is responsible for reviewing and setting minimum wages for employees in the national workplace relations system.

The Expert Panel of the Fair Work Commission has handed down its Annual Wage Review 2021-22 Decision.

This year most minimum rates of pay in modern awards will increase by 4.6 per cent and the National Minimum Wage will increase by $40 per week.

Any award rates which are below $869.60 a week will increase by $40. Any award rates which are above $869.60 a week will rise by 4.6 per cent.

Are there different operative dates for the increases this year?

For most modern awards, the minimum award wage rates will increase from the first full pay period that commences on or after 1 July 2022. Some awards in the aviation, hospitality and tourism industries will have the new rates apply from 1 October 2022.

What is the new National Minimum Wage?

The National Minimum Wage will be increased by $40 per week to $812.60 or $21.38 per hour, operative from the first full pay period that starts on or after 1 July 2022.

Can the wage increase be absorbed into over-award payments?

Yes. If an employer pays above-award rates, then the wage increase can be absorbed into these over-award payments.

Does the wage increase apply to award/agreement free adult employees?

A National Minimum Wage Order applies to adult employees who are not covered by an award or enterprise agreement. The National Minimum Wage Order includes:

  • The National Minimum Wage as outlined above
  • A 25% loading for casual employees.

Adult employees who are award/agreement free must not be paid less than the National Minimum Wage.

Does the wage increase apply to award/agreement free juniors, trainees and apprentices?

Yes, most juniors, apprentices and trainees are covered under an award or enterprise agreement and therefore the rates of pay in the relevant award or agreement apply.

Special national minimum wages for any award/agreement free juniors, trainees and apprentices are included in the National Minimum Wage Order.

Does the decision impact upon minimum wages for employees with a disability?

Yes. The following minimum wage arrangements apply to employees with a disability:

  1. Award-covered employees whose disability does not impact upon their productive capacity are entitled to the relevant modern award wage rate.
  2. Award-covered employees who are unable due to their disability to earn the full modern award wage rate are covered by supported wage provisions in modern awards.
  3. For award/agreement free employees with a disability, the National Minimum Wage Order contains two special national minimum wages for employees with a disability. The rate that applies depends on the extent to which their disability impairs their productive capacity.

Is there any change to the Superannuation Guarantee?

The Superannuation Guarantee will increase to 10.5 per cent effective from 1 July 2022.

Where can I find updated wage rates?

The new wages will appear in the awards, which can be accessed via the Fair Work Ombudsman website or the Fair Work Commission website.

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