Prepare for a July increase

By Bonny Shaw

As an employer, you should be aware of the annual announcements by the Fair Work Commission in regards to minimum wages, and ensure you are prepared to make the necessary wage adjustments.

On Tuesday, 31st May 2016, the Fair Work Commission announced a 2.4% increase to the national minimum wage, which will apply from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2016.

The General Retail Industry Award 2010 (the Award) dictates the minimum rate of pay you legally must pay your retail employees. Under the Award, the minimum pay rate will depend on the employee’s role and responsibilities; and you must ensure the appropriate rate is applied. The new minimum rates of pay that will apply from 1 July 2016 range from $19.44 to $23.79 per hour for part-time or full-time employees, and $24.30 to $29.74 for casual employees, working within ordinary hours.

You should be aware that penalty pay rates will also apply when rostering your employees for evening work, weekends and public holidays; and depending on the circumstances, allowances may also apply. Additionally, casual employees are paid a casual loading of 25%, in lieu of receiving an entitlement to benefits such as annual leave or personal leave.

The Fair Work Ombudsman releases a revised Pay Rate Guide for each award annually, in late June. This can assist you to determine the correct pay rate. You can find the pay guide for each award on the Fair Work Ombudsman website:

* Bonny Shaw is an HR Consultant at Allan Hall Human Resource Services, an HR and Safety business on the Northern Beaches of Sydney that provides advice and support to a wide range of businesses around Australia. She has a solid understanding of the industry and has worked with many retail related businesses. Overall winner of Best Professional Firm (revenue under $50m) in the recent Financial Review Client Choice Awards 2016’