Further labour cost pressure heaped on WA’s smallest businesses

CCIWA Chief Economist

Aaron Morey

Today’s decision by the WA Industrial Relations Commission brings the WA state minimum wage to $887.40 per week, an increase of $40.90 or 5.25%. Per week, this is a greater increase than was ordered by the recent federal Fair Work Commission decision.

It further increases the gap between the state and federal minimum wage. The decision will pile on higher costs for WA’s sole traders and partnerships at a time when they’re grappling with surging costs of material and labour.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA shares the concerns of those like the Reserve Bank, that in these conditions of rising energy prices, material costs, interest rates and other pressures, it was not the time to increase labour costs to this degree

This further disadvantages WA’s smallest businesses, who are governed by the antiquated WA industrial relations system, compared to the majority of WA businesses covered by the national system. The WA Government should rectify this situation and refer it’s IR powers to the Commonwealth.

It further increases the imperative for WA sole traders and partnerships to consider exiting the state system, and CCIWA is at the ready to provide them the advice they need.

While many focus on the experience of workers in these decisions, our smallest businesses are also at the mercy of rising costs and are just as equally deserving of our empathy and compassion.

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