A new national minimum wage of $17.70 comes into effect from the first pay period on or after today.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the agency’s online pay tools can assist employers to calculate their new wage rates and ensure they are compliant with their workplace obligations.
Ms James says underpayment of wages detected by Fair Work inspectors can often be traced back to a failure by employers to pass on annual wage rises.
“If left unchecked for a long period, businesses can ultimately end up with a hefty back-payment bill they were not budgeting for,” she said
Employers need to be aware that the Annual Wage Review decision by the Fair Work Commission not only increases the national minimum wage, but also base rates of pay in Modern Awards and enterprise agreements.
In late May, the Fair Work Commission announced a 2.4 per cent increase to the national minimum wage, modern award wage rates and agreed base rates of pay.
“Our focus at the Fair Work Ombudsman is on educating employers about their obligations and assisting them to put processes in place to ensure they are compliant,” she said.
Employers should undertake their own checks of award provisions and periodically self-audit their compliance to avoid unexpected costs down the track.
Employers and employees can refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool – which has been updated to consider the rate increase – to determine new pay rates and check their entitlements.