In breaking news, the Fair Work Commission has just handed down its decision for modern award and low paid workers. But to my knowledge the implementation is unprecedented.

The increase

The increase will be as follows, and depending on what award covers your workers, will determine WHEN the increase is to be paid.

Firstly, the FWC has awarded a 1.75 percent increase to all employees (as mentioned) covered by a modern award.

Secondly, the Minimum Wage increases by $13,00 per week to $753.80 per week/$19.84 per hour.

The timing

This is where things get “interesting”. The FWC determine that the COVID-19 (being unprecedented) has effected each industry differently and grouped the industries into three groups, which each group having the increase applied at three different times, as follows:

Operative Date

1 July 2020                   National Minimum Wage and Group 1 Awards

          • Frontline health care and social assistance workers.
          • Teachers and childcare workers.
          • Other essential services.

1 November 2020     Group 2 Awards

          • Construction.
          • Manufacturing.
          • A range of other industries.

1 February 2021         Group 3 Awards

          • Accommodation and food services.
          • Arts and recreation services.
          • Aviation.
          • Retail trade.
          • Tourism.

The Fair Work Commission reasoning

The FWC resisted urging by the unions for a 4% wages increase, the 0% argued by the employer groups, with government requesting a “cautious approach”, stating that the role of the FWC is not only to take into consideration the nation’s economy when determining its wage review but also the most vulnerable low paid workers are already struggling to make ends meet and to not award an increase would be tantamount to a wage decrease. This resulting in placing those workers into poverty.

The decision in full

For greater detail, the full decision can be accessed here.

Full list of awards

Group 1

The modern award minimum wages in the awards listed below will be increased by 1.75% per cent from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Award 2020 MA000115

Aged Care Award 2010 MA000018

Ambulance and Patient Transport Industry Award 2020 MA000098

Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2020 MA000019

Cemetery Industry Award 2020 MA000070

Children’s Services Award 2010 MA000120

Cleaning Services Award 2020 MA000022

Corrections and Detention (Private Sector) Award 2020 MA000110

Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2020 MA000076

Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010 MA000077

Electrical Power Industry Award 2020 MA000088

Fire Fighting Industry Award 2020 MA000111

Funeral Industry Award 2010 MA000105

Gas Industry Award 2020 MA000061

Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020 MA000027

Medical Practitioners Award 2020 MA000031

Nurses Award 2010 MA000034

Pharmacy Industry Award 2020 MA000012

Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 MA000100

State Government Agencies Award 2020 MA000121

Water Industry Award 2020 MA000113

Modern enterprise awards and state reference awards

Australian Capital Territory Public Sector Enterprise Award 2016 MA000146

Australian Federal Police Enterprise Award 2016; MA000142

Christmas Island Administration Award 2016 MA000149

Reserve Bank of Australia Award 2016 MA000140

Northern Territory Public Sector Enterprise Award 2016 MA000151

Nurses and Midwives (Victoria) State Reference Public Sector Award 2015 MA000125

Nurses (ANMF – Victorian Local Government Award) 2015 MA000131

Victorian Government Schools Award 2016 MA000155

Victorian Government Schools – Early Childhood – Award 2016 MA000152

Victorian Local Government (Early Childhood Education Employees) 2016 MA000150

Victorian State Government Agencies Award 2015 MA000134

Group 2

The modern award minimum wages in the awards listed below will be increased by 1.75 per cent from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020.

Aluminium Industry Award 2020 MA000060

Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award 2020 MA000118

Aquaculture Industry Award 2020 MA000114

Architects Award 2020 MA000079

Asphalt Industry Award 2020 MA000054

Australian Government Industry Award 2016 MA000153

Black Coal Mining Industry Award 2010 MA000001

Book Industry Award 2020 MA000078

Broadcasting, Recorded Entertainment and Cinemas Award 2010 MA000091

Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010 MA000020

Business Equipment Award 2020 MA000021

Car Parking Award 2020 MA000095

Cement, Lime and Quarrying Award 2020 MA000055

Clerks—Private Sector Award 2020 MA000002

Coal Export Terminals Award 2020 MA000045

Concrete Products Award 2020 MA000056

Contract Call Centres Award 2020 MA000023

Cotton Ginning Award 2020 MA000024

Dredging Industry Award 2020 MA000085

Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award 2020 MA000075

Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010 MA000025

Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010 MA000073

Gardening and Landscaping Services Award 2020 MA000101

Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010 MA000026

Higher Education Industry-Academic Staff-Award 2020 MA000006

Higher Education Industry-General Staff-Award 2020 MA000007

Horticulture Award 2010 MA000028

Hydrocarbons Field Geologists Award 2020 MA000064

Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream) Award 2020 MA000062

Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010 MA000029

Journalists Published Media Award 2020 MA000067

Labour Market Assistance Industry Award 2020 MA000099

Legal Services Award 2020 MA000116

Local Government Industry Award 2020 MA000112

Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020 MA000010

Marine Towage Award 2020 MA000050

Maritime Offshore Oil and Gas Award 2020 MA000086

Market and Social Research Award 2020 MA000030

Meat Industry Award 2020 MA000059

Mining Industry Award 2020 MA000011

Miscellaneous Award 2020 MA000104

Mobile Crane Hiring Award 2010 MA000032

Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award 2020 MA000072

Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award 2020 MA000063

Pastoral Award 2010 MA000035

Pest Control Industry Award 2020 MA000097

Pharmaceutical Industry Award 2010 MA000069

Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2010 MA000036

Port Authorities Award 2020 MA000051

Ports, Harbours and Enclosed Water Vessels Award 2020 MA000052

Poultry Processing Award 2020 MA000074

Premixed Concrete Award 2020 MA000057

Professional Diving Industry (Industrial) Award 2020 MA000108

Professional Employees Award 2020 MA000065

Rail Industry Award 2020 MA000015

Real Estate Industry Award 2020 MA000106

Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2020 MA000039

Road Transport and Distribution Award 2020 MA000038

Salt Industry Award 2010 MA000107

Seafood Processing Award 2020 MA000068

Seagoing Industry Award 2020 MA000122

Security Services Award 2020 MA000016

Silviculture Award 2020 MA000040

Stevedoring Industry Award 2020 MA000053

Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2020 MA000084

Sugar Industry Award 2020 MA000087

Supported Employment Services Award 2020 MA000103

Surveying Award 2020 MA000066

Telecommunications Services Award 2010 MA000041

Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award 2010 MA000017

Timber Industry Award 2010 MA000071

Transport (Cash in Transit) Award 2020 MA000042

Waste Management Award 2020 MA000043

Wool Storage, Sampling and Testing Award 2010 MA000044

Modern enterprise awards and state reference awards

Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement 2016 MA000139

Australia Post Enterprise Award 2015 MA000137

Australian Broadcasting Corporation Enterprise Award 2016 MA000147

Australian Bureau of Statistics (Interviewers) Award 2016 MA000143

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Enterprise Award 2016 MA000144

Australian Public Service Enterprise Award 2015 MA000124

Chullora Printing Award 2015 MA000127

CSIRO Enterprise Award 2016 MA000148

GrainCorp Country Operations Award 2015 MA000138

Metropolitan Newspapers (South Australia and Tasmania) Printing Award 2015 MA000130

Northern Territory News Award 2015 MA000129

Note Printing Australia Award 2016 MA000156

Optus Award 2015 MA000133

Parliamentary Departments Staff Enterprise Award 2016 MA000145

Printing Industry – Herald & Weekly Times – Production Award 2015 MA000126

Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd Printing (Murrarie) Award 2015 MA000128

Telstra Award 2015 MA000123

Victorian Local Government Award 2015 MA000132

Victorian Public Service Award 2016 MA000135

Viterra Bulk Handling and Grain Storage, Pulses and Minerals Award 2015 MA000136

Group 3

The modern award minimum wages in the awards listed below will be increased by 1.75 per cent from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 February 2021.

Air Pilots Award 2020 MA000046

Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2020 MA000047

Airline Operations-Ground Staff Award 2020 MA000048

Airport Employees Award 2020 MA000049

Alpine Resorts Award 2020 MA000092

Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020 MA000080

Commercial Sales Award 2020 MA000083

Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award 2020 MA000096

Fast Food Industry Award 2010 MA000003

Fitness Industry Award 2010 MA000094

General Retail Industry Award 2010 MA000004

Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010 MA000005

Horse and Greyhound Training Award 2020 MA000008

Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020 MA000009

Live Performance Award 2010 MA000081

Mannequins and Models Award 2020 MA000117

Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2020 MA000093

Nursery Award 2020 MA000033

Professional Diving Industry (Recreational) Award 2020 MA000109

Racing Clubs Events Award 2010 MA000013

Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award 2020 MA000014

Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2010 MA000058

Restaurant Industry Award 2020 MA000119

Sporting Organisations Award 2020 MA000082

Travelling Shows Award 2020 MA000102

Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020 MA000089

Wine Industry Award 2010 MA000090

Airservices Australia Award 2016 MA000141