The Fair Work Commission (Commission) have today determined that it is appropriate to increase modern award minimum wages by 3.5 per cent, raising the national minimum wage by $24.30 a week. The new changes come into effect from 1 July 2018.

Over the past year, full-time employment has increased by 3.1 percent, with hours worked also increasing by 3.3 per cent. With business conditions considered to be ‘generally robust’, the employment to population percentage has reached a historic high of 77.2 per cent. Consistent with the five-year average, real GDP has increased by 2.4 percent, with 16 of 19 industries recording growth.

The Panel concluded that our current economic circumstances offer an opportunity to improve living standards of people who are low paid, to enable them to better meet their needs.

As such, the national minimum wage order will contain:

a. A national minimum wage of $719.20 per week or $18.93 per hour;

b. Two special national minimum wages for award and agreement free employees with a disability:

i.            Where productivity is not affected by disability, a minimum wage of $719.20 per week or $18.93 per hour based on a 38-hour week;

ii.            Where productivity is affected, an assessment under the supported wage system, subject to the Supported Wage System Schedule (SWSS);

c. Wages provisions for award/agreement free junior employees based on the Miscellaneous Award 2010 applied to the national minimum wage;

d. Apprentice wage provisions and the National Training Wage Schedule (NTWS) in the Miscellaneous Award 2010 for award/agreement free employees where training arrangements apply; and

e. Casual loading of 25 per cent for award/agreement free employees.

Jim Rutherford
Harwood Andrews
T: 03 5226 8579


Sonia McCabe
Senior Associate
Harwood Andrews
T: 03 5226 8558