[Australia] Minimum Wage Rise Benefits Higher-Paid Workers

29 JUN 2020

Around two-thirds of the employees set to receive the new Australian minimum wage increase are not low-paid. In fact, some reportedly make close to $90,000 a year. According to research provided to the 2020 minimum wage panel, 64 per cent of those on award rates were earning above the "low paid" threshold which is defined as two-thirds of the median hourly rate.

The increase was intended to help workers through the economic downturn, Australia’s biggest since the 1930s. But the higher-paid award workers were, on average, earning the full-time equivalent of $58,000 a year; almost 50 per cent above the minimum wage. The data has drawn attention to the Fair Work Commission's June 19 refusal to freeze wages during the coronavirus crisis. Financial Review takes a closer look at the disclosure and the reactions it has received.