Umpire set to unveil rise for low-paid

More than 2.6 million Australians on award and minimum wages will find out how their pay packets could change when the industrial umpire makes its annual decision.

The Fair Work Commission will broadcast online the result of its review at 10am AEST Wednesday.

Last year the national minimum wage increased by 2.5 per cent to $772.60 a week, or $20.33 an hour.


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The Albanese government has argued for a rise which ensures wages do not go backwards when compared to inflation, which sits at 5.1 per cent.

Commonwealth Bank economists said a “significant lift” is expected compared with previous years.

Unions have pushed for a 5.5 per cent increase which they say will prevent a further real wage cut for a quarter of all workers.

“We submit that minimum and award wages must grow to ensure that award-reliant households can both meet the rising cost of living pressures facing them and enjoy their fair share of productivity growth,” the ACTU said in its submission.

“Yet employees are facing a rate of inflation almost twice that of anticipated wage growth by the end of 2022 according to the RBA. And it is the low paid who have been hit the hardest.”

The Australian Industry Group urged the commission to limit its increase to 2.5 per cent, arguing the union bid would “add substantially to the risks of entrenching inflation and greater increases in interest rates”.

“It would have adverse impacts on the economy, on unemployment, on underemployment and on sentiment, and would be a setback for many low income households.”

© AAP 2022