1 July 2020

From 1 July 2020: 

  • National Minimum Wage will increase by 1.75% to $753.80 per 38 hour week (or $19.84 per hour) from $740.80 per 38 hour week (or $19.49 per hour).

The national minimum wage applies to employees who aren’t covered by an award or agreement.

  • Pay rates in Modern Awards will increase by 1.75%. These increases will take effect in three stages with the increases to Group 1 commencing from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2019. The increases to the Awards in the three Groups will take effect as follows:
    • Group 1 – 1 July 2020 (Frontline Heath Care & Social Assistance Workers; Teachers and Child Care; and other Essential Services.  This includes the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010)
    • Group 2 – 1 November 2020 (Construction; Manufacturing and many other industries.  This includes the Clerks - Private Sector Award 2020)
    • Group 3 – 1 February 2020 (Accommodation and Food Services; Arts and Recreation Services; Aviation; Retail and Tourism)

For a complete list of Awards in each group, please refer to the Fair Work Ombudsman website

The increase in pay rate applies to employees whose employment is covered by a modern award and whose minimum pay rates are governed by that award.  Employers who pay award rates must check the relevant award to ensure that they are paying their employees according to the award. 

If you’re not sure which award applies to you, check the List of awards on the Fair Work Australia website

  • The “high income threshold” in unfair dismissal cases will increase to $153,600.

Employees who earn more than the high income threshold and who are not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement are not able to access the unfair dismissal provisions in the Fair Work Act.

In calculating whether an employee’s earnings are above the high income thresholds, the following must be included:

  • Wages
  • Money that is paid on their behalf (e.g. superannuation top ups or salary sacrifice)
  • The agreed value of non-monetary benefits (e.g. laptop or mobile phone)
  • Compensation limit for unfair dismissal claims will increase to $76,800.
  • The filing fee for dismissals, general protections and anti-bullying applications made under the Fair Work Act will increase to $50.


What employers should do

If you pay award wages to your employees, check the applicable awards and the start dates for increases, and update rates of pay accordingly.