Australia Raises Minimum Wage To Reduce Gender Pay Gap



In a response to the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) yearly review, the Australian government advocates a rise in the minimum wage. The wage hike could close the pay gap between genders and help low-paid workers, especially women who are impacted heavier by price hikes.

The government’s case is based on the fact that a lot of women work in low-paying jobs that depend on awards. Their plan says that about three out of every five award-reliant workers are women, and these women tend to work in lower-paying fields.

They set the minimum pay at A$23.23 (US$15.18) an hour, which amounts to about A$45,900 (US$29,985) a year. In particular, the FWC has to think about female equality when setting the minimum wage.

Australia has done a lot to close the pay gap between gender; at 12%, it’s the lowest it’s ever been. In contrast to the highest level of 18.7% seen in November 2014, this is a big change.

Related link: Australia Takes Steps To Boost Economic Equality For Women

The government’s submission emphasises the significance of preserving real wage increases for low-paid employees, maintaining the same position as the previous two years. It did, however, recognise that, given the dynamic nature of the economy—which includes rising interest rates and uncertainty throughout the world—it was critical to “balance all risks.”

Workplace Relations and Treasury Ministers Tony Burke and Jim Chalmers, respectively, underlined the continued challenges that low-income people confront in the current economic environment. They noted, “Cost-of-living pressures particularly affect low-paid employees – who are disproportionately women – because they usually do not have savings to draw from to address growing prices.”

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), which is in favour of a 5% pay raise, is in line with the government’s position. Employer associations, however, cautioned against such a large increase, citing concerns that it may result in price increases and job losses.

According to The Standard, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) even urged a rise below 2.8%, while the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) advised a modest increase of no more than 2%.

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