Government submission to the Fair Work Commission’s 2016-17 annual wage review

Tuesday 19 December 2017

The Government has lodged a submission to the Fair Work Commission’s 2016-17 Annual Wage Review to be considered by the Expert Panel.

The Fair Work Commission’s 2016-17 Annual Wage Review has been completed, with the 2017-18 review in progress. Through the review process, the Expert Panel for annual wage reviews will set the national minimum wage. The Panel can also choose to vary wage rates across the various classifications in one or more modern awards.

On 6 June 2017, in its annual wage review, the Fair Work Commission increased the national minimum wage rate by 3.3 per cent, to $18.29 per hour. The Fair Work Commission also increased minimum wages in the 122 modern awards by the same amount – 3.3 per cent. The decision took effect on 1 July 2017.

The Australian Government's submission provides the latest evidence on the economy, labour market, low-paid workers and inequality, which are all relevant to the Expert Panel’s decision. The Government lodged its submission on 29 March 2017.

The submission urged the Panel to take a cautious approach, taking into account the uncertain economic outlook and the need to boost employment and job creation, particularly for young people and the low-skilled. The submission notes that there are around 196,000 people paid the national minimum wage and 2.3 million award-reliant workers, the majority of which are not low-paid. The submission encouraged the Panel to balance an appropriate concern for the needs of the low-paid and award-reliant employees against the need to support job opportunities for long-term unemployed people, the low-skilled and young people.

The Government’s submission is now available on the Fair Work Commission's website.

Further information about the review, including decisions, can be found on the Fair Work Commission’s website.