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Australia increases minimum wage to $915 per week for lowest paid workers




Australia’s Fair Work Commission has increased its minimum wage to $915.90 per week which already took effect since July 1, 2024.

This follows an announcement made on a 3.75% rise in the National Minimum Wage, summing up a rise to $24.10 per hour.

This adjustment aims to bolster compensation amid economic shifts and inflation, benefiting both local workers and international work visa applicants.

The annual wage review ensures equitable remuneration for Australia’s lowest-paid workers, setting a new weekly minimum of $915.90. Starting from the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2024, these updated rates apply universally, establishing a baseline pay rate under the Fair Work Act 2009.

For employers, meeting or exceeding these wage standards enhances their ability to attract and sponsor skilled overseas workers. This adjustment is particularly pivotal for occupations covered by Modern Awards, which dictate industry-specific minimum pay rates and conditions.

Ensuring compliance with these updated wage requirements is crucial for employers navigating Australia’s visa sponsorship landscape. Stricter checks during visa processing will ensure adherence to Australian labour laws, underpinning fair employment practices.

What does this mean for workers in Australia?

Primarily benefiting workers in sectors like retail, hospitality, cleaning, and social care, this increase shows the Fair Work Commission’s commitment to addressing cost-of-living challenges while mitigating inflationary pressures.

Annually reviewing minimum wage rates considers various economic factors, including inflation and living costs. This year’s adjustment aims to support low-income earners amid Australia’s economic landscape, reflecting ongoing efforts to maintain financial equilibrium.

In July 2023, a 5.75% increase preceded concerns about inflation, which has since moderated to a two-year low of 3.4%. As inflation trends downward, the Reserve Bank of Australia anticipates further stabilization in the near term.

Australia’s upward adjustment in minimum wage benefits both domestic workers and international job seekers. By elevating wage standards, Australia reinforces its appeal as a preferred destination for skilled professionals, fostering a robust labour market and economic stability.

What you should know

On the local scene, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have been persistent in their calls for an increase in the minimum wage, which has stood at N30,000 for over a year.

Citing the country’s economic realities, the unions proposed a substantial raise to N494,000, arguing that such a figure is necessary for workers to sustain themselves amidst current economic conditions.

However, the federal government countered, deeming the proposed increase unsustainable and projecting a potential cost of N9.5 trillion. Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, reiterated the government’s stance, asserting that paying N494,000 as a minimum wage would exceed fiscal feasibility.

In response to the impasse, the trade unions launched a nationwide strike on Monday, June 3, 2024, demanding not only a higher minimum wage but also a rollback of recently increased electricity tariffs. The strike garnered widespread participation, paralyzing government offices, airports, seaports, and other public facilities across the country.

After intense negotiations later that evening, the federal government and the labour unions reached a temporary resolution. The government agreed to an interim minimum wage set above N60,000, prompting the unions to suspend the strike for five days. This suspension allowed for further deliberations and negotiations aimed at finalizing a mutually acceptable minimum wage agreement.

As discussions continue, stakeholders await a definitive resolution that addresses both the economic realities facing Nigeria and the aspirations of its workforce.


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