Minimum wage set to rise by $18.80 a week

The Morrison government says a major increase in the minimum wage could hurt employment numbers.
The Morrison government says a major increase in the minimum wage could hurt employment numbers.

Australia's lowest-paid workers will receive an $18.80-a-week wage increase.

The Fair Work Commission revealed on Wednesday the national minimum wage will rise 2.5 per cent to $772.60 per week or $20.33 an hour.

Sectors still under pressure from coronavirus restrictions will have the increase delayed beyond July 1.

More than two million people are on award rates of minimum pay for their industry, while almost 200,000 receive the national base wage.

The Morrison government warned against a major increase, arguing it could dampen employment in small business during the coronavirus pandemic.

But unions pushed for a 3.5 per cent increase, which would have seen minimum wage workers receive an extra $26 a week.

The Australian Industry Group urged the commission to limit its increase to 1.1 per cent, or $8.29 a week.

The national minimum wage increased by 1.75 per cent to $753.80 a week, or $19.84 an hour, after last year's review but the rise was delayed at least three months for most workers.

Australian Associated Press