Published: 01/07/2020
Category: Member Benefits Minimum wage
Published: 01/07/2020
Category: Member Benefits Minimum wage

Happy July, dear readers, and welcome to this month’s edition of your Member Benefits Update. This month we bring you news of a new tax break for those of you who have been working from home between March and June, there’s an update on how this year’s minimum wage increase will work and we bring you a special online commeration of John Curtin to join this Sunday 5th July.  And did we mention there’s a $100 Coles e-gift card to win?

Member Benefits Update July 2020


New tax break for working from home

COVID-19 has seen lots of us working from home for the first time. In fact, over the last few months 10.5 million Australians (68% of working Australians) have worked from home. According to think-tank, The Centre for Future Work, that could spark the end of normal work patterns, with more people requesting the option to work remotely.

With tax time upon us, the good news is that the tax office is making it easier to claim the cost of working from home during COVID-19.

A simple 80 cents per hour deduction

For anyone who has always maintained a home office, the general rule of thumb has been to keep receipts of relevant costs like household power and internet, then only claim the portion of those expenses that relate to work. It’s a method that calls for plenty of receipt filing and a few calculations, and it typically applies to people who run a business from home.

Read on for further help



Fair Work Commission confirms wage growth essential to recovery

Minimum wage and award-dependent workers will receive a 1.75 per cent pay rise, raising the base-line rate to $39,167.60 per year, or $19.84 per hour after the Fair Work Commission handed down its ruling on the annual minimum wage case on Friday 19 June.

This is a very modest increase and it is disappointing that several awards will not see any increase until November or February.

However it is clear in the decision that this panel of experts recognise that cutting wages in the middle of a crisis would be a disaster for working people and the economy and they have rejected the arguments put by some employers to effectively cut wages by freezing the minimum wage.

This year’s judgement is a bit different with different industries getting the increase at different times.  Some industries are getting an increase on 1 July 2020, some on 1 November 2020 and some on 1 February 2021.

To stay up to date about changes to minimum pay rates and get the full list of which change happens when visit our Minimum Wage alert page or contact your union directly.



Out of touch Coalition MPs push workers towards a retirement in poverty

This article brought to you by Industry Super Australia

A small band of Coalition MPs want to slash up to $200,000 from the savings of Australian families.

Using the Coronavirus caused downturn as cover, the backbench MPs, have called for the legislated super rate increase to be scrapped or frozen – a move which would see a couple on average wages lose between $150,000 to $200,000.

Read on or download report



Remembering John Curtin: commemoration and book launch

On Sunday 5th July at 6:00pm AEST join ACTU Secretary Sally McManus and ALP President Wayne Swan for this commemoration of John Curtin’s life and legacy as a union activist and wartime prime minister on the 75th anniversary of his death.

We will also be launching the new biography of Curtin, Becoming John Curtin and James Scullin (Melbourne University Publishing 2020) by Liam Byrne.

Register for this special online event now



Move money at great rates, with real support 24/7

Whether you’re sending money to support family overseas, managing loan repayments or looking to take the hassle out of foreign currency dividend transfers – we’re here to help you keep more of your money as it travels around the world. 

Sign up through Member Advantage for:

  • OFX fee-free* transfers
  • Bank-beating rates 
  • 24/7 local support combined with a seamless digital platform
  • Transfers to 197 countries in 55 currencies 

And whether you’re waiting for the right exchange rate, the right time or just have a question, our OFXpert team is here to help 24/7.

Contact your dedicated OFX Account Manager Samuel Pitt or sign up through the link below to access your special joining offer.

Set up your account by visiting your Australian Unions Member Benefits website.

Please note: if you have not yet registered for our member benefits program please register here first.

*Third party fees may apply. OzForex Limited trading as “OFX”. ABN 65 092 375 703 | AFSL 226 484. Read our PDS and FSG at



Extend JobKeeper and JobSeeker

The JobKeeper end date is fast approaching and working people are facing the prospect of the economic trapdoor opening up underneath them as more companies and organisations start to announce job losses in anticipation of JobKeeper being switched off in September.

JobKeeper needs to be extended and expanded to cover workers in higher education, early childhood education, the arts, aviation, casuals who might have less than 12 months service, visa workers who were invited here and are now trapped.

Sign our petition demanding the Morrison Government extend JobKeeper for another six months and keep the rate of JobSeeker at the rate it is now with the Coronavirus supplement.



Work for the union movement

There are some great union roles currently listed on the ACTU Job Vacancies web page.  A variety of positions are available from Campaining, Training, IT and Industrial Officer roles, Organiser positions and lots more as well.

So if you’re in the market for a great union role why not check out what’s on offer today?



WIN a $100 Coles e-gift card this month!

Enter the draw to win a $100 Coles e-gift card we are giving away to one lucky union member this month. There is no expiry date on the card and it can be used online.

To enter the competition simply email [email protected] with your name, address, union name and membership number before close of business Friday 31st July 2020.


Member Benefits Update July 2020

Member Benefits Update July 2020