The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has decided on 6 June 2017 to boost the minimum wage and all award wages by awarding 3.3% increase in the the National Minimum Wage and all award minimum wages for 2016/17.
The decision means that the National minimum wages will increase from $694.90 or $18.29 an hour. Workers across the country will benefit from this increase. The Victorian government has welcomed the decision and says that it will help address the a rising level of income inequality that is taking shape in Australia.
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The FWC’s decision is expected to benefit women, particularly, as they have a greater reliance on award rates than men and have a higher degree of employment and income insecurity. Higher minimum wages provide greater incentives for women to participate in the workforce. They can also have a positive impact on the gender pay gap.
Workers in industries such as hospitality, retail and fast food industry, are also some of the biggest beneficiaries of the wage increase, especially in the context where they are expected to have their rates and overall wages reduced because of the Federal Government’s recent penalty rates position.