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Increase to award wages

June 02, 2019

On 30 May 2019 the Fair Work Commission announced that from 1 July 2019 modern award rates will increase by 3%.

For fully qualified trades, this equates to an increase of approximately 68c per hour (or roughly an additional $25.84 per week) depending on the award and trade involved.    In announcing their Decision, the Commission noted that this year’s increase is lower compared to last year, having regard to the changes in the economic environment and tax-transfer system which provided a benefit to low-paid households.

In submissions to the Minimum Wage Panel, HIA submitted that this year’s wage review should encourage both investment and employment as the residential building sector will experience a sustained downturn over the next few years, leading to a reduction in demand for labour in the industry.

While a 3% increase is lower than in recent years, the Commission has continued to award an increase in excess of inflation, giving little weight to the concerns expressed by HIA that the economy has limited capacity to manage another significant wage increase.

As in previous years, concerns with the impact of increasing wages on declining apprentice completion rates were ignored.

The decision continues to reject union’s calls for a ‘living wage’, with unions seeking an increase of double that which was handed down.

The new award rates will apply from the first full pay period on or after 1 July. Over the coming weeks, HIA will update its modern award wage rate information sheets to reflect the new rates of pay.