Minimum wages

The minimum wage is the base rate of pay that must be paid to workers who are permanent employees and aged 21 years or older. The current national minimum wage which takes effect on July 1st 2019  is $19.49 per hour. An employer cannot pay you less than the minimum wage even if you agree to it.

There are special minimum wages for workers who are trainees or apprentices, some workers who are younger than 21 years and some workers who have a disability. Most workers who are casual employees are entitled to a casual loading equivalent to 25 per cent on the minimum wage. The casual loading compensates for other employment entitlements that casual workers don’t get, such as sick leave or annual leave.

There are also special minimum wages for certain industries and occupations. These industry or occupation-specific wage rates are contained in ‘awards’. A full list of awards can be found here

Federal Minimum Wage

The minimum wage is a ‘base rate of pay’. It does not include any additional amounts that a worker might be entitled to such as bonuses or allowances, or penalty rates for working overtime or working shift work, weekends or public holidays.

The minimum wage rates are reviewed every year by an expert panel of the Fair Work Commission. At the conclusion of this review, a national minimum wage order is made which will apply from the first full pay period on or after 1 July each year. 

Note that this information only applies to workers who are cover by Australia’s national workplace relations system. Some workers are covered by state workplace relations system. You can find out more about which system you are covered by here.

To find out the wage rate you should be paid you can call your union or for free advice phone Australian unions on 1300 486 466.