From 1 July 2016, the national minimum wage will rise to $672.70 per week or $17.70 per hour, and all modern award wages will jump by 2.5 percent.

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) CEO John Hart said that the decision fails to recognise that some sectors are affected far more by increases to award wages than others.

“Sectors such as the restaurant and catering sector are heavily award reliant and have the compounding factor of the majority of hours paid with penalty rates. This makes the increase well over three percent for businesses in our sectors,” said Hart.

“This decision will cost jobs in our industry with the vast majority of businesses reducing casual hours, reducing opening hours or having owners working longer hours (in place of staff) as a result.

“The Productivity Commission noted in its review of the Workplace Relations system last year that the minimum wage in Australia is the highest in the OECD. There must be a limit to how many times award wages can be in increased from the incredibly high base we have in Australia,” he added.

Hart said the increase in the award rate isn’t just for the minimum wage, but applies to all levels of award wages.

“Most of the rhetoric around the Annual Wage Review is about the minimum wage, but this is simply not what this review is about – it's about all wage earners in sectors such as ours.”


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