e National Wage Case decision has been handed down and the result is that the minimum wage has increased by $15.80 per week or 2.6 per cent.  This has a clear flow on effect to the wage rates in all Modern Awards and thus requires all employers to review their employment instruments before the new rates come into effect on 1 July 2013.

National Wage Case

Each year the Fair Work Commission reviews the cost of living, economy wide productivity indicators and the general health of the Australian economy to determine if the minimum wage rates set in the Awards are commensurate with a living wage. While not all National Wage Cases result in an increase in the minimum wage, most do.

Changes to the minimum wage have flow on effects to the wage rates in all of the Modern Awards, and come into effect for the first pay period on or after 1 July 2013.

All employment instruments effected

While the National Wage Case directly changes the wage rates in the Modern Awards there is a flow on effect to all employment instruments.

Employers who utilise direct contracts or enterprise agreements must take the time to review the wage rates contained within those instruments as the National Employment Standards, which apply to all employees, provide for the Modern Award rates to be the basis for all wage rates, regardless of instrument.

All employers need to review the base rates in their instruments to ensure they are equal to, or above the levels set in, the Modern Awards after the National Wage Case increase.

Wage Increase

The 2.6 per cent increase, which amounts to $15.80 per week, is significantly lower than the $30.00 per week the employee groups were requesting, and significantly higher than the $5.00 business groups were advocating.  This increase is also slightly smaller than the increase passed on in 2012.

Casuals

While the determinations on the general wage increase have been made it will be a few more days before the determinations on the increase that will be passed onto casuals will be released. Once the casual rate determinations have been released ACAPMA will send the updated wage rate tables to all members in the form of the ACAPMA Quick Reference Guides.

ACAPMA Quick Reference Guides

Each year ACAPMA produces Quick Reference Guides on the three main Awards for the downstream petroleum industry:

  • The Road Transport and Distribution Award 2010 for fuel tanker drivers;
  • The Vehicle Manufacturing Repair Services and Retail Award 2010 for console operators, roadhouse and driveway attendants; and
  • The Clerks Private Sector Award 2010 for clerical staff.

These Quick Reference Guides provide permanent and casual rates as well as information on common allowances and the structure of penalty rates within each award and are a no-nonsense guide to the key elements of the Awards.

The Quick Reference Guides for 2013/2014 financial year will be released late in June, when the determinative results for casuals have been released and the new rates can be incorporated.

Register now so you don’t miss out

The ACAPMA Quick Reference Guides will be sent to the Principle members upon their release; however, members are encouraged to have the responsible persons in their business, such as payroll or workplace relations managers, register to receive these Guides on their release, to ensure they receive the information in a timely fashion.

To register to receive the ACAPMA Quick Reference Guides and other key workplace relations information please click here.

Here to Help

ACAPMA members are reminded that the ACAPMAlliance Workplace Relations Professionals are available to assist with wages and Awards. For more information just call 1300 160 270.

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business. They are provided as general advice and you should seek further advice on your situation by calling 1300 160 270 and speaking to one of the ACAPMA Workplace Relations Professionals its free for members. ACAPMA membership is affordable at only $550 per year for a single site and valuable with sites gaining HR advice support and representation as well as a raft of other benefits and discounts. Click here to learn more about ACAPMA membership.

Elisha Radwanowski
BCom (HRM & IR)
Workplace Services