The first chunk of Australians to cash in on the minimum wage increase has been announced, with thousands to benefit three months early.
The first Australians to benefit from the country’s minimum wage lift have been announced, with thousands to begin cashing in on the increase in the coming days.
More than 15,000 workers will have their wages increased on July 1, three months ahead of the Fair Work Commission’s mandated hospitality start date on October 1.
Endeavor Group announced on Monday it would be upping the pays of all employees on the hospitality award.
“We will implement the wage increase from the start of the first pay period in July to all eligible employees, including our hospitality team members,” Endeavor Group CEO and Managing Director Steve Donohue said.
The company, which owns ALH Hotels, Dan Murphy’s and BWS, has also set about employing hundreds of new workers to add to its 28,000-strong national workforce.
More than 400 roles need filling across 340 ALH Hotels, while 400 roles have opened up in its BWS and Dan Murphy’s outlets.
The company said most roles didn’t require previous experience and successful applicants would be provided training.
“We offer great long-term career opportunities across our businesses, and provide training programs for team members to help them grow with us,” Mr Donohue said.
Employees across the company’s retail stores, hotel venues, support offices, operations and wineries also received benefits like discounts on drinks, groceries and pub meals, he added.
The Fair Work Commission last week announced a push by the unions and the new Albanese government to boost minimum wages had been successful, approving a 5.2 per cent boost.
The change will shift Australia’s minimum wage up to $21.38 per hour or $812.60 per week, representing an increase of $40 per week.
Modern award minimum rates will also go up 4.6 per cent “subject to a minimum increase of $40 per week”, and both increases will come into effect from July 1 for most workers.
Fair Work Commission president Ian Ross said the changes were reflective of a “sharp increase in the cost of living”.
“At the aggregate level, labor market performance has been particularly strong. The unemployment rate has fallen to 3.9 per cent., compared to 5.5 per cent in April 2021, at the time of the last review,” he said.
“The improvement in the labor market is forecast to continue in the period ahead. There has also been a sharp rise in the cost of living since last year’s review.
“At the time of last year’s decision, the Consumer Price Index and the underlying measure of inflation both stood at 1.1 per cent.
“The comparable figures now stand at 5.1 per cent for the CPI and 3.7 per cent for the trimmed mean, or the underlying inflation rate. There is also a marked difference in the inflation forecasts.”
The minimum wage increase will be delayed until October 1 for industries including aviation, tourism and hospitality, with the exception of those employed by Endeavor Group.
While the change has been predominantly well received, it has received some criticism.
The 5.2 per cent jump for those on minimum wage only benefits a minority of the millions of Australians on low wages, while the majority will get the more modest 4.6 per cent boost to modern minimum award rates.
According to Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Andrew McKellar, the increase could potentially lead to price rises for customers.
“By our calculation, this will add $7.9 billion in costs to the affected businesses over the year ahead, so that will be a very considerable burden that those businesses will either have to take to the bottom line or pass onto their customers,” he said. in response to the Fair Work Commission’s announcement.
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox agreed, claiming the move would “add fuel to the inflation fire”.