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Why Wage Increases Are Important And How To Manage Them

The foundU Team
June 17, 2022
8 Min Read
Why Wage Increases Are Important And How To Manage Them

End of Financial Year (EoFY) is here! With the Fair Work Commission's decision to increase the national minimum wage by 5.2%, and minimum award wages by 4.6% with a minimum increase of $40 per week, businesses will soon be hard at work interpreting pay guides and applying wage increases.

We know that this process can be stressful for businesses - Australia has some of the most complex workplace legislation in the world. That's why we developed a rate rise tool that allows foundU customers to apply minimum wage increases and adjust charge out rates, individually or in bulk, with just a few clicks. Read on to find out more!

 

What is the current National Minimum Wage?

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, the National Minimum Wage was $20.33 per hour or $772.60 per week.

From July 1, 2022, this is set to increase by 5.2% - $21.38 per hour or $812.60 per week. This rate will apply to all employees not covered by an award or registered agreement.

The good news is that employees covered by a modern award don't miss out!

Fair Work also made the decision to increase modern award minimum wages by 4.6%, subject to a minimum increase for adult award classifications of $40 per week. The $40 per week increase is based on a 38-hour week for a full-time employee. This means that modern award minimum wage rates above $869.60 per week will receive a 4.6% adjustment, while wage rates below $869.60 per week will be adjusted by $40 per week.

While most award increases will come into affect from July 1, 2022, in an effort to help industries severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fair Work also made the decision to delay wage increases for some modern awards, including:

  • Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2020
  • Airline Operations – Ground Staff Award 2020
  • Air Pilots Award 2020
  • Airport Employees Award 2020
  • Airservices Australia Enterprise Award 2016
  • Alpine Resorts Award 2020
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
  • Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2020
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2020

Wage increases for these modern awards will come into effect from October 1, 2022.

You can read more about their latest decision in the Annual Wage Review 2021-22.

 

What are wage increases and what makes them so complex?

Every financial year, the Fair Work Commission convenes a panel of experts to review minimum award rates. As part of this review, they decide on whether they will increase, decrease or keep them consistent.

The challenge for businesses, large and small, is that the pay guides that illustrate these changes are typically released very close to the day they come into effect, only allowing a short time for businesses to plan and update their awards before their next pay cycle.

For many businesses, interpreting these pay guides can also be challenging. While the increases are mostly standardised, it can be difficult to blindly apply blanket percentages, as some rates are rounded down and others rounded up.

At foundU, we have seen it all. Our tool accommodates both small, simple increases and complex setups with multiple awards, sites, venues and states.

 

What happens if you aren't compliant with the minimum wage?

It is illegal for any Australian employer to pay less than the minimum wage, whether accidentally or intentionally. By not paying the minimum wage, you could face legal action. In case of a mistake or payroll error, Fair Work says the best thing you can do to resolve the issue is to enter a back payment agreement with your employee. To find out more, check out Fair Work's guide for fixing an underpayment.

 

How does the foundU rate rise tool work?

Our rate rise tool helps Australian businesses streamline wage increases.

The tool allows you to pre-set a percentage increase against awards or agreements, and schedule it to update your payroll at a chosen date. For labour hire or recruitment firms, you can preview the increased rates and apply any relevant adjustments to your charge-out rates as well.

This means, no matter your business type, size or industry, the foundU rate rise tool can help you to plan, forecast and pay your employees compliantly with just a few clicks!

"Before foundU, customers would have to review each award and manually update them one at a time, on the same day the wage increase applied," said foundU Chief Operating Officer Renee Roussety

"Now with the rate rise tool, customers are able to plan ahead, to free them up to manage other things so that their end of financial year isn't as stressful."

Jane Forno, Payroll Officer at Clarity Management Group, has used foundU's rate rise tool in the past to update their client's modern awards. 

"We found it to be a really quick and easy tool to use," Jane said.

"In the past, we would have to go into our accounting software and update pay rates for our clients manually. Now with foundU, rate rises are done for a customer with just a few clicks."

Kirstie Holovati, Marketing, Projects & Implementation Manager at TLH Recruitment, a national recruitment and labour hire firm with multiple awards and agreements, said their business has enjoyed similar success with the rate rise tool.

"It has made our end of financial year process seamless," Kirstie said.

"Minimum wage increases has always been a long-winded and dreaded process - we typically would need to start preparing seven days prior to the increase coming into effect. Using the foundU rate rise tool allows us to update the awards and agreements section, operations rate cards, candidate positions... everything, all in the one go and in roughly two days."

 

What's on your list for EoFY?

Apart from rate rises, there's plenty of things to consider during EoFY. Check out our EoFY timeline for the key dates you need to be aware of.

Current foundU customer? Check out our rate rise tool guide, which takes you through the process step-by-step. 

 

Want to know more about foundU? Book a Demo.

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