Increase to minimum wages announced

17 June 2021

The Fair Work Commission has delivered its Annual Wage Review decision.

The Panel, consisting of President Justice Ross, Vice President Catanzariti, Deputy President Asbury, Commissioner Hampton, Mr Ferguson, Professor Wooden and Ms Labine-Romain unanimously determined that from 1 July 2021, the National Minimum Wage will increase by 2.5% to $772.80 per week, or $20.33 per hour.President Justice Ross confirmed that in making its decision, the Panel had considered the 0.5% increase to compulsory superannuation contributions from 1 July 2021 (up from 9.5% to 10%), but chose not to apply “a direct, quantifiable, discount to the minimum wage increase.”

The 2.5% increase will also apply to the minimum rates prescribed by modern awards, however its application to some modern awards will be delayed for sectors that remain under pressure from COVID-19.  For example, the increase will not apply to the General Retail Industry Award 2020 until 1 September 2021, and to the following awards until 1 November 2021:

  • Air Pilots Award 2020
  • Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2020
  • Airline Operations – Ground Staff Award 2020
  • Airport Employees Award 2020
  • Alpine Resorts Award 2020
  • Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020
  • Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award 2020
  • Fitness Industry Award 2020
  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
  • Live Performance Award 2020
  • Mannequins and Models Award 2020
  • Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2020
  • Nursery Award 2020
  • Racing Clubs Events Award 2020
  • Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award 2020
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2020
  • Sporting Organisations Award 2020
  • Travelling Shows Award 2020
  • Wine Industry Award 2020


This decision will directly affect employees who have their rate of pay set under the National Minimum Wage, under a modern award or in some cases under an enterprise agreement.

If an increase to an employee’s rate of pay is required by the decision, their wage must be adjusted from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2021 (or 1 September/1 November 2021 if one of the above mentioned modern awards apply).

The decision can be found here.

EMA Legal can assist employers to understand these changes and the corresponding impacts on employees’ remuneration.

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This Newsletter is made available to our clients and interested parties to provide immediate access to information about important changes and developments relevant to employers. The information contained in this publication should not be relied on as legal advice and should not be treated as a substitute for detailed advice that takes into account particular situations and the particular circumstances of your business.