More than 1.3 million working Australians will benefit from an increase in national minimum wages from 1 July 2012.
Fair Work Australia's decision last month to increase minimum wages by 2.9 per cent means the National Minimum Wage increases by $17.10 per week to $606.40 per week, or $15.96 an hour – an increase of almost $900 a year for a full‑time minimum wage worker. Minimum wages in award classifications will also increase by 2.9%.
Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten welcomed the increase for Australia's hardworking but low paid workers.
"It's the Gillard Government's fundamental belief that Australian workers deserve a fair day's pay for a fair day's work," Mr Swan said.
"In our submission to the independent umpire, the Government asked Fair Work Australia to ensure its decision reflected increases in the cost of living.
"The real increase is a vote of confidence in the Australian economy, showing its underlying strength amid global uncertainty."
"This real increase in minimum wages will help low income working families manage cost of living pressures," Mr Shorten said.
"The minimum wage increases are an important reminder that a fair and balanced workplace relations system, underpinned by a simple, stable, safety net, is important for all working Australians.
"This Government will always ensure that low paid workers and all working Australians get a fair go."
The new pay rates for each modern award and further information and assistance is available at the Fair Work Ombudsman's website www.fairwork.gov.au or by calling 13 13 94.