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Minimum wage increase | COVID-19 vaccinations | Flu vaccinations

Minimum wage increase

The Fair Work Commission has recently announced a 2.5% raise to both the national minimum wage and the minimum rate of all award wages. Following last year’s modest 1.75% increase, a more substantial hike was widely predicted. The new minimum wage now stands at $20.33 per hour, or $772.60 per week.

When does it take effect?

The minimum wage increase applies to your first full pay period on or after July 1st, 2021. So, for example, if you pay weekly for a Monday to Friday working week, the new rate will apply from Monday July 5th.

The majority of modern award increases are happening at the same time. However, the Retail Award doesn’t start until September 1st, and a final batch of 21 awards will be rolled out on November 1st.

For full details on which awards are increasing when, please see the Fair Work Commission website.

Who does it apply to?

Obviously enough, the new increase applies to anyone being paid the minimum wage. It also applies to anyone being paid the minimum rate of an award.

Who doesn’t it apply to?

It doesn’t apply to any employee already earning more than the new minimum wage for their role.

What should you do?

If you have employees on or close to minimum wage, you must ensure their pay is increased in line with the new ruling. Failure to do so can result in large fines and back pay obligations.

Similarly, if you have staff on annualised salaries or ‘all in’ hourly rates, you should check that these remain high enough to meet your overall minimum award obligations moving forward.

How can we help?

Streamline can review your current hourly rates and salaries against the new minimum wage obligations and advise where increases are required and by how much.

COVID-19 vaccinations

As Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program gradually rolls out, there is a degree of confusion as to whether employers can make vaccination of their staff mandatory. As a general rule, the answer is they can’t. While the government’s aim is to have as many people vaccinated as possible, it remains committed to it being voluntary.

However, there are a number of exceptions to this such as aged care workers, hospital and health contractors, and ambulance staff.

How can we help?

As this is an evolving situation, Streamline can keep you up to date with the latest information to ensure you remain compliant with your health and safety obligations.

Flu vaccinations

The COVID situation has obscured the fact that good old-fashioned flu (or influenza) remains a major health issue which contributes substantially to absenteeism and lowered productivity in the workplace.

While generally speaking, only young children and the elderly qualify for free flu vaccinations, many employers offer them as a benefit to staff. Some even organise for them to be administered on work premises.

What should you do?

Employers aren’t obliged to offer flu vaccinations. However, given the obvious benefits to employer and employee alike, this may be something you want to consider.

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