The "exceptional circumstances" created by COVID-19 warrant delaying the operative date of any minimum wage increase by a fortnight to July 15, according to the Ai Group, while the Victorian Government is calling for a rise of at least 3%.
Bargained wage rises in the private sector dropped to 2.7% a year in the September quarter, according to newly-released Attorney-General's Department data that also shows some large retail employers are starting to tie increases to the FWC's annual review.
An FWC-commissioned study probing the characteristics of low-paid award-reliant workers and their propensity to move to a better paying job has suggested that policymakers need to focus on helping older, less-educated employees to obtain higher incomes.
In a case highlighting the dangers of failing to engage with underpayments cases, an employer who did not respond to a claim it short-changed a teenage worker by $8000 must now pay him an additional $240,000 in penalties.
Workers' wages will continue to grow at about 2.2%, similar to the current WPI, partly because the forthcoming 0.5 percentage point rise in compulsory super payments will be mostly funded by forgone pay rises, according to the RBA.
New rules for recording the working hours of junior lawyers and paralegals are set to take effect from March, despite protests from major law firms, while up to a million clerical employees are set to be subject to similar provisions.