This is a guest post from Matthew Bell from Murdoch Lawyers.

The Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) expert panel has conducted the Annual Wage Review 2015-2016 and has now handed down its decision.

From the first full pay period after 1 July 2016, the national minimum wage will increase by $15.80 a week to $672.70 or $17.70 an hour.  The weekly rate is to be rounded to the nearest 10 cents.  This equates to an additional 41 cents an hour and is a rise of 2.4%.

Importantly, this increase will also apply to Modern Awards.

All wages rates in Modern Awards will rise by 2.4% as of the first pay period after 1 July 2016.

There will also be flow on effects to various allowances and penalty rates in Modern Awards.

Employers need to ensure the remuneration paid to their employees meets the minimum payment obligations contained in the applicable modern award, workplace agreement or national minimum wage order (for award/agreement free employees).

Underpayments expose employers to claims from their employees.  Many employers are unaware of the additional costs these claims involve beyond reimbursing the affected employee, including:

  • the time consuming and costly audit process required to rectify the underpayment and ensure there are no further underpayments moving forward;
  • potential fines of up to $54,000 for companies and $10,800 for individuals; and
  • disruption to the employer’s business.

When it comes to underpayments, prevention really is better than the cure.

For more information contact the team at Murdoch Lawyers.