3 per cent minimum wage rise criticised by business, unions

The Fair Work Commission’s minimum wage increase, announced
yesterday, has disappointed both business and unions.

The FWC’s Expert Panel granted a three per cent increase in the minimum wage to $640.90 per week, effective July 1.

Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry
Group, argued the rise was excessive and would “increase the pressure on
struggling businesses.”

He added that employers would struggle to understand the
decision, made, “At a time when the soft labour market is seeing more moderate
wages growth in line with the fragility of the domestic economy.”

However, the Australian Council of Trade Union’s Dale Oliver
was also unimpressed by the increase, following strong national accounts
figures – boosted by strong minerals exports – earlier this week.

”Today’s decision means that low paid workers
including cleaners, retail and hospitality staff, child care workers, farm
labourers, and factory workers will fall even further behind the rest of the
workforce,” he said, according to Fairfax.

According to The Australian Financial Review, the rise
reinforces Australia’s place as the country with the third-highest minimum
wage, in US dollar terms.

Image: http://www.employmentlawuk.org/