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New Minimum Wage And Penalty Rate Cuts Now In Effect

New minimum wage and penalty rate cuts now in effect

The new national minimum wage and penalty rate cuts are now in effect.

The minimum wage is now $19.49 per hour, or $740.80 per week. 

The Fair Work Ombudsman says many businesses get caught out underpaying workers at this time of year because they forget to change staff pay rates. 

New minimum wage and penalty rate cuts

The Fair Work Commission announced a 3 percent increase to the minimum wage earlier this year, following its Annual Wage Review.

The increase applies from the first full pay period starting from July 1 2019.

Employees covered by a modern award will also receive a 3 percent increase to their base rate. 

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from IR Claims reminded employers to review their payroll processes.

“It’s easy for employers to get caught out at this time of year if they don’t adjust pay rates for their workers,” he said.

“The penalties for underpayments can be huge, and can bankrupt a business.

“It’s therefore vitally important for employers to be aware of changes to the national minimum wage.”

Penalty rate cuts

While the minimum wage increased, about 70,000 workers had their Sunday and public holiday penalty rates slashed.

The industries affected by the cuts are hospitality, retail, fast food and also pharmacy.

It’s the third round of cuts ordered by the Commission, designed to increase productivity and jobs growth. 

However, Mr Heffernan notes neither of these things happened.

“Since the cuts first came into effect a few years ago, we have seen productivity decline, and not one new job created,” he said.

“Unfortunately those who lost their Sundays and public holiday penalties will see their wages shrink.

“At the same time, their employers will pocket the difference and increase their profits.”



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