All growers and contractors should be aware that the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down its 2018/19 Annual Wage Review decision on 20 July 2019.

The decision has increased the national minimum wage and the Modern Award minimum wages by 3% from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019.

The current weekly minimum wage has grown from $719.20 to $740.78, which is an increase of $21.60 per week for ongoing employees.

The minimum hourly rate of pay will increase from $18.93 to $19.49.

For casual employees, this is an increase from $23.66 per hour to $24.36 per hour (current casual loadings remain at 25%).

Any employer who pays their workers at minimum wage rates should have increased their employees’ pay the first pay period on or after 1 July 2019.

Employers who pay their employees under a collective or enterprise bargaining agreement, should also review the rates under those agreements to ensure that wage payments are equal to or above the applicable minimum wage rates.

Employers should review their current pay arrangements to ensure that any workers not covered by a Modern Award or enterprise agreement will from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019 be paid in accordance with the new minimum wage rates (including the casual loadings in respect of casual employees).

It is also important to check the type of job your workers are doing as they may need to be paid at a higher level than the base if they are doing tasks such as tractor driving or operating machinery.

For more information, go to the Fair Work Commission website: https://www.fwc.gov.au or the Fair Work Ombudsman website: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/get-set-for-a-3-0-wage-increase-2019-annual-wage-review

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