The minimum wage has increased, but my pay hasn’t. What should I do now?

The minimum wage has increased, but my pay hasn’t. What should I do now?

 

By Alison Martens

On 1 July 2022 the National Minimum Wage increased by 5.2% and the award minimum wages increased by 4.6% (fairwork.gov.au). This means that about $40 extra per week would be landing in the pockets of those employed under these agreements. 

For employees, this is good news, however some might be left wondering why their pay cheque hasn’t increased yet. Below I break down what steps you should take, or why your pay might not increase.

Check your eligibility

Not everyone in Australia will have their wage increase because of this decision by the Fair Work Commission. The decision affects the pay of approximately 2.7 million Australians who are on the national minimum or those who work under an award. If you’re not sure which award applies to you, you can use this tool here.

Calculating your new pay rate

If you fall within an award or receive the national minimum, you can calculate your new pay rate (including allowances) with this tool here.

Once you have calculated your updated wage, we recommend speaking with your employer to discuss having the updated rate reflected in your employment agreement.

If you work within the aviation, tourism, or hospitality sectors, it is important to note that the wage increase has been delayed until 1 October because of their slower economic recovery post Covid.

Employer refusing to increase wage

If your employer refuses or is unnecessarily delaying the increase of your wage, and you fall outside of one of the delayed sectors, you should seek legal advice.

You can obtain generic initial advice from the Fair Work Commission, however if your situation is more complex, it is best to obtain personalized advice from an employment lawyer. It can be hard to navigate these situations with employers, therefore obtaining the correct advice up front is important.

Our employment law team offers free 30-minute consultations, which will help you understand what your next steps should be suited to your personal situation. To book in, call Boylan Lawyers on 08 8632 2777.

Alison Martens, Senior Associate at Boylan Lawyers, has built an impressive career within the employment law area over her seven years practicing.

How are weekly workers compensation benefits calculated?

How are weekly workers compensation benefits calculated?

By Alison Martens, Senior Associate

 

If you have suffered a work injury and you are entitled to weekly payments, you might be wondering how these payments are calculated…

Under the Return to Work Act 2014 (‘the Act’), if you suffer a compensable work injury and are unable to work due to your injury, you may have an entitlement to weekly payments of compensation. Often a complex and overwhelming area of law, these weekly payments are usually calculated with reference to your ‘average weekly earnings’. But what does this mean exactly?

Under the Act, ‘average weekly earnings’ is defined as the average weekly amount that you earned during the period of twelve months preceding your injury date. Importantly, for the purposes of the calculation, earnings are not confined to wages. So, what else could be included? 

Earnings can include any amount paid while you were on annual, sick, or other leave. They might also include a voluntary salary sacrifice for superannuation purposes (paid by you) or a non-cash benefit provided to you by an employer.

Sometimes this calculation method can produce unfair outcomes. The Act recognises that at times, basing your entitlement on the average weekly amount that you earned during the period of twelve months preceding your injury, will not produce a fair outcome.  Accordingly, the Act contains provisions as an alternate means to calculate your average weekly earnings. The purpose of these provisions is to ensure your average weekly earnings will not be based on earnings that are less than your lawful entitlement. 

What do these provisions cover? The provisions cover circumstances where you have suffered a gradual onset work injury and it appears that your level of earnings have been affected by your injury. You might have also had unplanned time off in the 12 months prior to your injury. In circumstances where you were predominantly in full-time employment prior to your injury or you regularly worked overtime, this will be factored in too. Exceptions for apprentices and injured workers under the age of 21 years also exist.

If at the time of suffering your injury, you were covered by an award or industrial agreement, your average weekly earnings will not be less than the weekly wage to which you were entitled to be paid. If there is no industrial instrument, then you are entitled to be paid no less than the Federal Minimum Wage.

If you have suffered a work injury and need advice with regards to what you are entitled to, Boylan Lawyers can assist you with navigating what is often a complicated and overwhelming area of the law. Contact us today on 08 8632 2777 or email hello@boylanlawyers.com.au.