Annual wage review places pressure on business: ACCI

02 June, 2016

The Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase minimum and award wages by 2.4 per cent means a heavier burden for employers operating in an economy in transition, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry said recently.

Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson said:
"As with last year, the Fair Work Commission has given those on statutory wages a larger pay increase than other private sector workers, at $15.80 per week.
"Consistently granting increases above the wage rises received by other workers is inconsistent with the role of minimum and award wages as a safety net.
"The Australian Chamber sought an increase of no more than $7.90 per week, a 1.2 per cent increase that is roughly in line with inflation.
"In comparison to the 2.4 per cent increase granted by the Fair Work Commission, private sector wages grew by just 1.9 per cent in the year to March 2016.
"Business profits have actually been falling; with ABS data released on Monday showing a 4.7 point drop in company profits.
"Australia has one of the highest minimum wages in the world, and most people paid under the award system receive much more than the minimum wage.
"The Productivity Commission also recognised that most people on the minimum wage are not in low income households.
"The data shows that the most vulnerable people are those who are unable to find work, and low paid jobs are stepping stone into future employment opportunities.
"Youth unemployment, in particular, is a national tragedy.
"The Productivity Commission argued that the needs of the unemployed should be given greater weight in the Fair Work Commission’s considerations – this does not seem to have occurred, and that is disappointing.
"We encourage all parties in this federal election campaign to consider the impact of their policies on business and the economy when formulating their plans for Australia’s future."