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What Does the Minimum Wage Increase Mean for Employees?

The national minimum wage increase came into effect on July 1 – here’s how it affects you.

The national minimum wage increased by $21.60 per week following the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review in May. The three per cent increase means the weekly minimum wage is now $740.80, with the new rates coming into effect July 1.

The minimum hourly rate is now $19.49 per hour – an increase of 56 cents. The changes apply to workers who have their pay set by the national minimum wage or a modern award.

There were also some changes to penalty rates. Sunday penalty rates for full-time and part-time hospitality workers dropped to 150 per cent loading, while casual employees will maintain 175 per cent loading.

If your employer offers penalty rates, full-time and part-time hospitality workers earning minimum wage will collect $29.23 per hour on Sundays.

The increase of $21.60 per week adds up to an extra $93 per month, $1123.20 per year or around 315 takeaway coffees, if you’re so inclined.

While a three per cent increase may not sound like a lot, an extra $1123.20 per year is more than enough to cover 12-month vehicle registration in Victoria, purchase a new phone or put a deposit down on a rental property.

If you’re unsure which award applies to you, use the find my award tool provided by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Businesses that are uncertain of the rates they should be paying staff can take a look at the pay and conditions tool here.

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