Minimum Wage and Award Pay Rates, Unfair Dismissal Thresholds Increase from 1 July

Now is a good time to make sure you are meeting (or being paid!) your minimum pay obligations.

Minimum wages increased from 1 July 2015 as a result of the Fair Work Commission’s recent decision to award an increase of 2.5%. This means that the federal weekly minimum full time wage has increased by $16.00 per week to $656.90 ($17.29 per hour) from $640.90 ($16.87 per hour) and modern award rates of pay have increased by this amount or more.  This year’s increase was lower than last year due to low inflation and wage growth, along with a rise in unemployment.

A summary of the Commission’s decision can be found at

Employers should check the Fair Work Commission website ( for pay rate revisions to modern awards and ensure the appropriate increase is passed on from the first pay period after 1 July 2015. You can also subscribe to electronic award updates from the Commission.  The Fair Work Ombudsman also has online pay checking resources (

For award based employees, the increase can be absorbed by a standard higher pay rate where there is specific contractual agreement between an employer and employee.  For non award employees, the obligation is for employers to ensure that an employee is being paid more than the minimum wage rate for all their hours of work.  It is only trainees, apprentices and junior employees, employees to whom training arrangements apply and employees with a disability who may be paid less than these minimum rates and then only if specified in an applicable award or enterprise agreement.

Also, from 1 July 2015, the unfair dismissal high income threshold (the annual remuneration level, above which award free employees cannot bring unfair dismissal claims) increased to $136,700 (from $133,000 and excluding superannuation and non guaranteed amounts, eg commission) and the maximum compensation for unfair dismissals increased to $68,350.00.

Please contact us if you would like any further information or help.