The increase to the minimum wage will be delayed until the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2021 for employers covered by the modern awards listed below.
The awards that will increase from 1 November 2021 are:
- Pilots Award
- Cabin Crew Award
- Airline Ground Staff Award
- Airport Award
- Alpine Resorts Award
- Amusement Award
- Dry Cleaning and Laundry Award
- Fitness Award
- Hair and Beauty Award
- Hospitality Award
- Live Performance Award
- Models Award
- Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award
- Nursery Award
- Racing Clubs Events Award
- Racing Ground Maintenance Award
- Registered Clubs Award
- Restaurant Award
- Sporting Organisations Award
- Travelling Shows Award
- Wine Award
This is the perfect time to consider what these increases will mean for you.
As a business owner, you need to make sure you are still paying your employees correctly. Many businesses don’t regularly review their wages unless they employ someone new.
Australian employment laws and awards are complex, and, unfortunately, it is easy to get caught out if you do not stay on top of the entitlements you should be paying your employees.
Here are some areas that are worth considering to make sure you are on the right track.
Do you know which award covers your employees?
You need to understand which award is applicable and remember that you can be covered by several different awards in the same business.
When was the last time you checked your employees against their award to ensure you are paying correctly? Will you still be paying above the award after the minimum wage increase?
When a business sets an employee’s salary above the minimum award rate, they often do so to incorporate other entitlements such as leave loading, allowances or reasonable overtime. This can mean that a small minimum wage increase, can actually mean you are no longer meeting the Better Off Overall Test. Take the time to benchmark your salaries every year to check that you are still paying your employees correctly.
Recruitment and Retention
If you pay above award rates, you need to ask yourself why you decided to pay above the award in the first place. Was it to meet the market and attract the best candidates? If so, you may want to adjust salaries to ensure you stay competitive and reward your employees for retention.
It is worth considering an annual review of employee salaries and the end of the financial year is a good time to do this. You can allow for increases in your budget. Even if you don’t increase salaries, you will have the peace of mind that you are meeting your legal obligations.
For further information on the minimum wage increase, visit www.fairwork.gov.au.