Wage increase 2013

Last week the Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage Panel handed down its decision under the Fair Work Act, increasing national minimum wage rates by 2.6%.

The national minimum wage will increase by $15.80 per week from the current $606.40 per week ($15.96 per hour) to $622.20 per week ($16.37 per hour) from the first full pay period after 1 July 2013. The weekly rates are based on a 38 hour week and weekly wages should be rounded to the nearest 10 cents. The minimum annual salary for a full time employee will be $32,354.40.

Minimum award rates will increase for each classification level but are still dependent on transitional arrangements until 1 July 2014.

If you are unsure what the correct award rates are, there is an easy-to-use calculator called PayCheck Plus which calculates the transitional rates for all award-covered employees.

Increase in Award Allowance Rates

Award allowances linked to the standard weekly rate will also increase by 2.6%. Other allowances in modern awards will increase by the percentage movement in the applicable CPI figure.

Casual Loading

The casual loading for award/agreement free employees will increase from 23% to 24%. The casual loading will continue to be increased by 1 percent each year until it is bought into line with the 25% casual loading in modern awards.

Increase in Employer Super Contributions

Following recent amendments to super legislation, employer super contributions will increase from 9% to 9.25% from 1 July 2013 with further increases of 0.5 percent on 1 July each year until the super guarantee rate reaches 12% in 2019.

The super guarantee age limit will also be removed from 1 July 2013 so employers will need to contribute super for employees who are 70 years old and older from that date.

All increases will apply from the first full pay period after 1 July 2013.

For employees covered by a collective or enterprise agreement, employers should ensure that the rates of pay under the agreement are at least equivalent to the applicable modern award rates for equivalent award classifications. Modern Awards containing the increased minimum wage rates will be available on the FWA website shortly

If you are unsure about the correct award rates or allowances check on PayCheck Plus or contact us.

For further information on how the increase in wage rates and allowances may affect your employees, please contact our Employment Team:

Jennifer Wyborn — Partner — Employment & Workplace Relations
(02) 6279 4328
jennifer.wyborn@meyervandenberg.com.au

Hugh Chalmers — Partner — Employment & Workplace Relations
(02) 6279 4451
hugh.chalmers@meyervandenberg.com.au

Deborah Mackenzie — Associate — Employment & Workplace Relations
(02) 6279 4441
deborah.mackenzie@meyervandenberg.com.au