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3 per cent minimum wage rise criticised by business, unions

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The Fair Work Commission’s minimum wage increase, announced yesterday, has disappointed both business and unions.

The FWC’s Expert Panel granted a three per cent increase in the minimum wage to $640.90 per week, effective July 1.

Innes Willox, chief executive of the Australian Industry Group, argued the rise was excessive and would “increase the pressure on struggling businesses.”

He added that employers would struggle to understand the decision, made, “At a time when the soft labour market is seeing more moderate wages growth in line with the fragility of the domestic economy.”

However, the Australian Council of Trade Union’s Dale Oliver was also unimpressed by the increase, following strong national accounts figures – boosted by strong minerals exports – earlier this week.

''Today's decision means that low paid workers including cleaners, retail and hospitality staff, child care workers, farm labourers, and factory workers will fall even further behind the rest of the workforce,'' he said, according to Fairfax.

According to The Australian Financial Review, the rise reinforces Australia’s place as the country with the third-highest minimum wage, in US dollar terms.

Image: http://www.employmentlawuk.org/

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