Ai Group calls for caution on minimum wage increase due to delicate industry

The Australian Industry Group will today appear before the Fair Work Australia Minimum Wage Panel to argue for a “cautious approach to adjusting minimum wages” due to Australian industry’s delicate condition. 

Ai Group’s Chief Executive, Heather Ridout said various industries are finding it hard to be competitive globally, and hopes a higher minimum wage won’t hurt Australia’s industry further.

"While Australia is in better shape than most other advanced countries our economy remains lopsided.  Many businesses, especially manufacturers not supplying to the mining industry, are having their competitiveness eroded by factors such as higher interest rates, the higher dollar and rising costs generally.  These circumstances require a cautious approach by Fair Work Australia in setting minimum wages,” she said. 

Ai Group’s Director – National Workplace Relations, Stephen Smith, will lead Ai Group’s team presenting its case on Tuesday in Melbourne. 

Ai Group is proposing: 

Firstly, that the Federal Minimum Wage be increased by $14.00 operative from 1 July 2011, with the same increase applied to award minimum wages. 

Secondly, that the exceptional circumstances provisions of the FW Act (s.286(2)) should be invoked for employers who have been badly affected by the recent natural disasters.  For these employers, Ai Group proposes an operative date of 1 January 2012 for the $14.00 increase.

 

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