The Andrews Labor Government is calling for an increase to award and minimum wages to tackle stagnating wage growth, rising inequality and reduce cost of living pressures on Victorian families.
In its submission to the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review, the Labor Government says the minimum hourly wage should be increased to $19 an hour.
This would translate to a National Minimum Wage of $722 per week.
The number of award reliant employees in Victoria and Australia is increasing rapidly. In the six years from May 2010 to May 2016, award reliance has risen from 16.6 per cent to 25 per cent nationally.
Lower award wages are concentrated in specific sectors including retail, hospitality and cleaning, and disproportionately affect women, young people and some of our communities most vulnerable – including Aboriginal workers, older workers and workers living with a disability.
With a workforce increasingly reliant on award wages, the decision of the Commission in setting minimum wages has become even more important, particularly in a period of stagnating wage growth.
The Labor Government’s submission also calls on the Federal Government to better resource the Fair Work Ombudsman to combat wage theft and to ensure workers receive the wage they are entitled to.
The submission also called for the Fair Work commission to consider the national minimum wage as a proportion of the median wage in light of increasing inequality.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industrial Relations Natalie Hutchins
“Victorians who rely on minimum and award wages deserve a pay rise – it’s as simple as that.”
“This modest, fair increase would provide a critical boost for our community’s lowest paid workers, and ensure we do not create an underclass of working poor in Victoria.”
“The Andrews Labor Government will always stand up for the value and dignity of work. All Victorian workers should be paid fairly and feel safe and secure at work.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020