What happened on the weekend: Penalty rate cuts commenced, the minimum wage increased

Employment Legislation | Small Business

By James Harkness

Two decisions of the Fair Work Commission took effect on weekend – An immediate 3.3% increase in the minimum wage; and a staged variation in penalty rates under the Hospitality, Fast Food, Retail and Pharmacy Awards. The decisions do not apply to people employed under enterprise agreements or in other sectors (eg nurses, police, paramedics, etc).

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said the result of the minimum wage increase is that small business operators will now be paying more in wages to their employees.

“The minimum wage increase is significantly higher than inflation and helps offset the initial reduction in Sunday penalty rates,” she said.

“It’s a shame that unions are running a scare campaign against the penalty rates decision of the independent umpire while accepting the higher minimum wage.”

Further information: National minimum wage to increase by 3.3%The highest minimum wage increase since 2011… what does this mean for small businesses?Sunday penalty rate cuts for hospitality, retail staff being phased in over three to four yearsFair Work Commission to cut Sunday and public holiday pay for hospitality and retail workers, and How the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rate cuts will affect your business and employees.

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