State minimum wage to rise 6.39%

The State minimum wage will increase by 6.39% from July 1 in a move expected to impact about 27,000 employers and 300,000 workers. 

In a decision handed down today, the WA Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) said the one-off increase took into account a 2.3% hike to realign a classification rate in the Metal Trades (General) Award from C14 to C13 as well as a 4% general increase that will also apply to award rates.

The increases apply only to employees who are paid the minimum wage or award rates in the State industrial relations system. 

The State minimum wage will now be $918.60 per week, up $55.20 on the current rate. The hourly minimum will increase from $22.72 to $24.17.

This follows a Fair Work Commission decision last week to lift the national minimum wage by 3.75% from July 1 to $913.91 a week. 

“The Commission noted that in recent State Wage Cases, the focus had been on cost-of-living pressures given the high inflationary environment and rising interest rates in tandem with a continuing tight labour market,” the WAIRC said in a statement. 

“While the State economy remains strong, current data and the forecasts for the year ahead, are pointing to some slowing of growth, as continued elevated, although easing, inflation dampens demand and household spending continues to pull back from higher levels over the last two years.” 

WA remains the only State that still sets its own State wage, with all other states using the national system. 

During submissions to the WAIRC, unions had been pushing for an increase of 7.3%, which the commission said was “not appropriate” and would place an unfair burden on small business. 

CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell said wage costs were a significant burden on small and family businesses in WA, which were already grappling with spiralling costs. 

“While the increase is lower than the extreme hike the unions were pushing for, there’s no escaping the fact that it will impact the operational viability of small businesses across our State,” he said. 

“It will come as a big shock to many.” 

Rodwell said the decision further underlined the need for the State Government to ease the pressure on businesses by reducing payroll tax. 

For more information on minimum and award rates, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or [email protected].   

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