Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Heather Ridout has warned that a minimum wage catch up, that would see the minimum wage increase by $27 a week, will put workers’ jobs at risk.
“The ACTU is getting ahead of itself with its minimum wage claim and in doing so putting at risk the jobs of the very people it is trying to help,” Ridout said.
“The recovery is patchy and as yet not sufficient to make up the ground lost during the downturn.
“The underemployment rate remains high (7.6 per cent) with 872,600 people looking to work more. Profitability across large sectors of the economy is weak while the future is far from certain.
“The idea of a minimum wage catch up is fanciful given the experience of the past 12 months, and being too ambitious about wages during the next 12 months would be a bad idea.
“There are a number of issues complicating this particular case, including the cost increases imposed on employers through award modernisation, and these should all be taken into account in getting the increase right.
“We will be making a detailed submission in the case,” Ridout said.