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 National Minimum Wage (NMW) review. The 2020 annual NMW review was announced last month, the decision increases the NMW by 1.75%, with the new rate taking effect from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2020.

In light of the uncertain economic environment, the increase of 1.75% to award wages will start on 3 different dates for different groups of awards as follows:

  • Group 1 awards from 1 July 2020
  • Group 2 awards from 1 November 2020
  • Group 3 awards from 1 February 2021

The Banking Finance and Insurance Award 2020 (BFI Award) is a Group 1 award, so the increase was effective from the first full pay period on, or after 1 July 2020.

Please note the following:

  1. The NMW increase was 1.75%. As at the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020, the NMW will increase to $753.80 per week or $19.84 per hour. This is a weekly increase of $13.00.
  2. This 1.75% increase in minimum wages also means an increase in the minimum wages under each applicable modern award on 3 different dates.
  3. An employer is not obligated to pass on the 1.75% 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. It is important to consider full time employees with an annualised wage. Calculate the new award rate and compare to their annualised wage and retain as a record that they are not underpaid as a result of the increase to the BFI award rates.
  5. New minimum award rates for the BFI Award are available on the Fair Work website .
  6. Also note there has been an increase to allowances within the BFI Award.

Following are the minimum Award rates that apply to the BFI Award:

Adult Employees
The figures in the table below are the adult BFI award rates effective 1 July 2020, based on a 38-hour week and do not include the superannuation guarantee charge.

Level Minimum Annual Salary Minimum Weekly Rate
Level 1 $41,673 $801.40
Level 2 $45,635 $877.60
Level 3 $48,199 $926.90
Level 4 $50,617 $973.40
Level 5 $52,671 $1,012.90
Level 6 $58,994 $1,134.50

  

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
Meal allowance has increased, an employee must now be paid a meal allowance of $17.35, 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 $14.27 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 BFI award as they too have increased.

Increase to the high-income threshold – effective 1 July 2020
The high-income threshold increases each year and has increased to $153,600 from 1 July 2020. 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 may be considered award free, or may have received a formal guarantee of earnings to say the BFI award does not apply if they are considered covered by the award by definition under the level classifications.

It is important to be sure this minimum wage increase is passed on to employees paid according to the BFI award rates to avoid underpayments. For those full time employees with an annualised wage, it is important to do the calculation, using the increased award rates; to be sure they continue to be paid enough under their annualised wage. This calculation must be retained as a record. Part time employees with entitlements built in, although they do not have an annualised wage, it is recommended a record be kept of the calculation as proof they too are not underpaid.

  

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