The Fair Work Commission has increased the National Minimum Wage by 5.2 per cent following its Annual Wage Review 2021-22, taking the hourly rate from $20.33 to $21.38.

Minimum award wages have also been given a boost, with wages above $869.60 per week receiving a 4.6 per cent increase per week and wages below $869.60 receiving a $40 increase.

Affected awards include:

  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award
  • Restaurant Industry Award

While the National Minimum Wage will change from 1 July 2022, the increase will not apply to the hospitality sector until 1 October 2022 due to “exceptional circumstances”.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has applauded the decision which will impact 2.7 million Australians.

“It makes a difference to people who are struggling with the cost of living, and it justifies our position that we took in making a different submission to the Fair Work Commission, that said we did not want people who are on the minimum wage to go backwards,” said Prime Minister Albanese.

There has been a mixed reaction to the news across the industry, with the Restaurant and Catering Association expressing concern for businesses.

“Whilst we are glad that the Commission agreed with our submission in deferring the implementation of the award rate increase to 1 October, I know a lot of business owners will have limited ability to absorb the extra cost,” says R&CA CEO Belinda Clarke.

“93 percent of our industry is small business. With everything they have gone through over the past two years with COVID-19, in addition to rising inflation, crippling staff shortages and the cost of doing business, this is sadly going to mean more business closure.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman is in the process of updating pay tools, information and resources with the new rates and has encouraged people to use find my award to keep up to date with relevant changes.