Clubs expect to see an increase in the minimum wage rate this year following the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) minimum wage review. Factors such as rising inflation and interest rates have been cited by both pro-employer and pro-employee groups in their submissions to the FWC in favour of increasing the minimum wage rate.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) submitted that the FWC should award a 3.5% rise in this year’s review, which would amount to 4% following the 0.5% increase in the superannuation guarantee. The ACCI noted that this increase, the highest ever supported by the ACCI, would seek to address “uncomfortably high inflation”. However, it noted that matching the wage increase to the rising CPI rate would result in inflation and interest rates remaining higher for longer.

In comparison, the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), in their submissions, sought an increase of 7% to the minimum wage rate from the FWC. This rate seeks to match the rising CPI rates. The ACTU further submitted that the increase was affordable as the minimum and award wage rates have not contributed to inflation.

Clubs are also reminded that this year’s wage review will see the FWC consider job security and gender equity as objects of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) following the introduction of Albanese’s Government’s Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation. The ACTU submitted that the over-representation of award-covered women in low-paid and insecure jobs would require the FWC to increase the minimum wage rate to achieve these new Fair Work objectives.

Whilst it remains to be seen how these new objectives will impact the FWC’s decision, Clubs can be assured that the FWC minimum wage review will consider rising inflation rates and the “cost of living” crisis. The decision is likely to be handed down in mid-June.

Guest blog post by Matt McKeon from ClubsNSW.