Minimum wage decision set to be determined

More than 2.2 million Australians on minimum wages will find out how their pay packets could change when the industrial umpire makes its annual decision.

The Fair Work Commission will broadcast online the result of its review on Wednesday at 3.30pm AEST.

The Morrison government has warned against a major increase, arguing it could dampen employment in small business during the coronavirus pandemic.

But unions have pushed for a 3.5 per cent increase, which would see minimum wage workers receive an extra $26 a week.

The national minimum wage increased by 1.75 per cent to $753.80 a week, or $19.84 an hour, after last year’s review but the rise was delayed at least three months for most workers.

More than two million people are on award rates of minimum pay for their industry, while almost 200,000 receive the national base wage.

The Australian Industry Group urged the commission to limit its increase to 1.1 per cent, or $8.29 a week, with a delay until January for workers in sectors under pressure from coronavirus restrictions.

Employers also argue the last increase was paid by many employers at the start of February, labelling a five-month gap between another rise as “extremely unfair”.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions wants minimum pay rates boosted to put more money that would stimulate the economy in workers’ pockets.

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