Author: Lehanne Bleumink, Gold Seal HR Services Manager.

Further to our ‘Newsflash’ on this topic in June, each year the Fair Work Commission (FWC) carries out an annual minimum wage review. The 2019 annual wage review was announced last month, with the new minimum wage rates taking effect from the first full pay period on, or after 1 July 2019. (In early June, full details on the increases had not been made available by the FWC. This article contains this information, including the increase to allowances, as well as the high-income earner threshold increase).

Please note the following:

  1. The minimum wage increase was 3%. As at 1 July 2019, the minimum weekly wage will increase to $740.80 per week or $19.49 per hour. This is a weekly increase of $21.60.
  2. This increase in minimum wages also means an increase in the minimum wages under each applicable modern award.
  3. An employer is not obligated to pass on the 3% increase to employees paid above the award rate – however, it is important to ensure the employee remains either equal to, or above the new award rate.
  4. New minimum award rates for the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010 are available on the Fair Work website.
  5. If you have employees employed under other Awards, those rates have also been made available on the Fair Work website .
  6. Also note there has been an increase to the meal allowance within the Banking Finance and Insurance Award 2010.

Following are the minimum Award rates that apply to the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2010:

Adult Employees

A full-time adult employee must be paid a minimum weekly rate for their classification. The figures in the table below are effective 1 July 2019, are based on a 38-hour week and do not include the superannuation guarantee charge.

Level Minimum Annual Salary Minimum Weekly Rate
Level 1 $40,955 $787.60
Level 2 $44,850 $862.50
Level 3 $47,372 $911.00
Level 4 $49,748 $956.70
Level 5 $51,766 $995.50
Level 6 $57,980 $1,115.00

  

Junior Employees

A junior employee will be entitled to the percentage of the applicable adult weekly wage, as set out in the table below:

Age Percentage of Adult Rate
16 years or less 50%
At 17 years 60%
At 18 years 70%
At 19 years 80%
At 20 years 90%

  

Meal Allowance

An employee must be paid a meal allowance of $17.00, or be provided with a suitable meal if required to work one and a half hours overtime and the period of overtime extends beyond 6.00 pm. A further allowance of $13.98 must be paid if the overtime exceeds five and a half hours.

Your employee may be eligible for other allowances, such as vehicle allowance or first aid allowance. Be sure to check the rates within the Award for increases.

Increase to the high-income threshold – effective 1 July 2019

The high-income threshold increases each year and has increased to $148,700 from 1 July 2019. It is recommended that if you have any employees considered high-income employees you check to make sure they remain a high-income earner. High-income employees are not usually covered by Modern Awards, they are employees whose annual base earnings exceed the high-income threshold and who have received a formal guarantee of their earnings which remains in force.

This means that for dismissals, if an employee is not covered by an Award and does not have an enterprise agreement that applies, he/she must earn less than the high-income threshold to be eligible to make an unfair dismissal application to the Fair Work Commission.

It is important to be sure this minimum wage increase is passed on to employees paid Award rates to avoid underpayments.

  

For assistance on any of your HR/IR requirements – call Gold Seal on 03 9510 5100 or email HRServices@goldseal.com.au