Changes to 2019 / 2020 National Minimum Wage

The Fair Work Commission has now announced a 3% increase in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the 2019 /20 financial year.

Every year an expert panel of the Fair Work Commission carries out a review of the NMW and minimum rates within modern awards. There are a number of matters that the panel must consider when deciding:

  1. should there be an increase?
  2. if yes, how much?

The matters to be considered include:

After considering these factors and coming to its decision, the panel commented that:

the prevailing economic circumstances provide an opportunity to improve the relative living standards of the low paid and to enable them to better meet their needs by awarding a real increase in the NMW and modern award minimum wages.

The Panel also noted in its decision that: “despite the recent fall in GDP growth, the Australian economy has been performing moderately well and the relevant data are all indicative of a strong labour market.

As of 1 July 2019, employees who receive a wage in accordance with the NMW, a modern award and in some cases a registered agreement, will receive a 3% increase to their base rate. This will result in a new National minimum wage of $740.80 per week, or $19.49 per hour. 

If you are an employer paying employees based on these rates, you should be prepared to implement this change from the first full pay period from 1 July 2019. All award rates will be available on the Fair Work website –

For employers still within the WA State labour relations system, changes to the Western Australian minimum wage and award rates are likely to be announced in the near future.

Please also remember that, as of 1 July 2019, all businesses will be required to adhere to the new single touch payroll reporting system, unless an exception has been specifically granted.

If you would like further information in relation to how the above matters may affect your business, please contact us on (08) 9321 5451 or by email at

For further information about our legal services, please visit our website:

The above information is a summary and overview of the matters discussed. This publication does not constitute legal advice and you should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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