The Fair Work Commission (FWC) of Australia has increased the minimum wage to a 5.2 percent, a $40 AU (about 28 USD) weekly pay rise for millions of workers.
Australia’s minimum wage since last year had been $20.33 an hour or $772.60 a week, but advocacy groups have called for a pay raise to meet the demands of soaring inflation.
Australia’s minimum wage will now be $21.38 an hour, or $812.60 a week, and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it is “just the beginning.”
“They deserved a pay rise, and today they got it,” Albanese said.
Albanese also said the wage rise would not unfairly burden small businesses.
“Those small businesses really rely on their workers, who are really struggling with the cost of living,” Albanese added. “It’s a dollar an hour.”
FWC President Ian Ross argued the sharp increase in the cost of living and the rising inflation were key reasons behind the decision.
“We accept that the approach we have adopted will result, albeit minor, compression in relativities,” Ross said.
“But that consideration is to be balanced against the need to provide greater relief to low-paid workers in the context of the rising cost of living pressures,” Ross also said, adding that the strength of the labor market would not have a “significant adverse effect” on the national economy.
Earlier, the federal government had called for a 5.1% wage rise, in line with inflation, but business groups warned against such a rise.
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