The National Minimum Wage [“NMW”] and minimum rates in Modern Awards are reviewed each year, and increases usually take effect from the beginning of the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July in that year.

The Minimum Wage Panel handed down its 2020 decision on 19 June, awarding a 1.75% increase.  As a result, the National Minimum Wage will be increased by 1.75% to $19.84 per hour ($753.80 per week), effective from the beginning of the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July 2020.

The Panel also decided that Award pay rates will be increased by 1.75%. However, the start date for the increases in the various Modern Awards will be staggered over the next 4 months.

 In taking this very unusual approach, the Panel took into account the unprecedented social and economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, which has led to business closures and job losses despite the stimulus and support measures introduced by Federal and State government. The Panel referred to the following factors:

  • the outlook remains very uncertain;
  • the shock to the labour market weighs favourably in preserving employment;
  • the relative living standards and the needs of the low paid, which supports an increase in the NMW and modern award minimum wages;
  • if no increase was awarded (as put forward by a number of employer groups), or an increase was awarded which was less than increases in prices and living costs, this would amount to a real wage cut and would mean that many award-reliant employees, particularly low-paid employees, would be less able to meet their needs and might slip into poverty;
  • the 4% increase proposed by the ACTU would create a real risk of higher unemployment and of adverse affects on the employment opportunities of low-skilled and young workers;
  • as urged by the Australian Government, the Panel decided to take a cautious approach in terms of both the quantum and timing of the increase, in light of the continuously emerging and wide-ranging potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to prioritise keeping Australians in jobs and maintaining the viability of businesses; and
  • while COVID-19 has substantially impacted the whole economy, the impact has been inconsistent and not all industries have been impacted evenly, and these exceptional circumstances justify a delay in the commencement of the

Modern Award pay rates & Allowances

The Panel has split the Modern Awards into 3 groups, and the 1.75% increase for each Award will apply from the date for the group the Award is in.

The groups and Awards within each group are shown at Attachment A with the applicable date of effect.


Award allowances will also increase at the same time as the Award rates.  Check the relevant Pay Guide for the new allowance rates.

Pay Guides

Pay Guides with the new rates have not been published as yet but will hopefully be available soon.

If you are not familiar with the Pay Guides for the Awards that cover your employees, the Guides set out in detail the various rates payable for each type of employee (full and part-time, casual, juniors, apprentices etc) and classification, including ordinary-time, overtime and penalty rates and allowances.  The Guides are very useful and save you having to try to calculate the various rates yourself.

Instructions on how to find the Pay Guides are at Attachment B. Annualised Salaries & Individual Flexibility Agreements

If you have Award-covered employees on annualised salary arrangements or under Individual

Flexibility Agreements, you will need to review these arrangements to make sure that the employees will still be better off overall than they would be once the new Award rates apply.

Remember that in doing the comparison you will need to look at the various patterns of hours the employees will work and any Award overtime/penalty rates that might apply, NOT just the new base rate.

If you have had annualised salary arrangements in place for some time, make sure that they comply with the applicable Award Annualised Salary provisions, many of which were tightened up substantially in February-March 2020.

Enterprise Agreements

If your employees are covered by an EA, review the rates to ensure that they are at least equal to the Award minimum rate. If not, the rates must be increased to at least match the Award rates from the date the new Award rates take effect.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.

Greg Kerr


Effective Workplace Pty Ltd


Mobile: (0400)407 224



 Note: the lists below do NOT include Modern enterprise awards and state reference awards


The modern award minimum wages in the Awards listed below will be increased by 1.75 per cent from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2020.

  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services Award
  • Aged Care Award
  • Ambulance and Patient Transport Industry Award
  • Banking, Finance and Insurance Award
  • Cemetery Industry Award
  • Children’s Services Award
  • Cleaning Services Award
  • Corrections and Detention (Private Sector) Award
  • Educational Services (Schools) General Staff Award
  • Educational Services (Teachers) Award
  • Electrical Power Industry Award
  • Fire Fighting Industry Award
  • Funeral Industry Award
  • Gas Industry Award
  • Health Professionals and Support Services Award
  • Medical Practitioners Award
  • Nurses Award
  • Pharmacy Industry Award
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award
  • State Government Agencies Award
  • Water Industry Award


The modern award minimum wages in the Awards listed below will be increased by 1.75 per cent from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020.

  • Aluminium Industry Award
  • Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award
  • Aquaculture Industry Award
  • Architects Award
  • Asphalt Industry Award
  • Black Coal Mining Industry Award

(Group 2 continued- from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020)

  • Book Industry Award
  • Broadcasting, Recorded Entertainment and Cinemas Award
  • Building and Construction General On-site Award
  • Business Equipment Award
  • Car Parking Award
  • Cement, Lime and Quarrying Award
  • Clerks—Private Sector Award
  • Coal Export Terminals Award
  • Concrete Products Award
  • Contract Call Centres Award
  • Cotton Ginning Award
  • Dredging Industry Award
  • Educational Services (Post-Secondary Education) Award
  • Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award
  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award
  • Gardening and Landscaping Services Award
  • Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award
  • Higher Education Industry-Academic Staff-Award
  • Higher Education Industry-General Staff-Award
  • Horticulture Award
  • Hydrocarbons Field Geologists Award
  • Hydrocarbons Industry (Upstream) Award
  • Joinery and Building Trades Award
  • Journalists Published Media Award
  • Labour Market Assistance Industry Award
  • Legal Services Award
  • Local Government Industry Award
  • Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award
  • Marine Towage Award
  • Maritime Offshore Oil and Gas Award
  • Market and Social Research Award
  • Meat Industry Award
  • Mining Industry Award
  • Miscellaneous Award
  • Mobile Crane Hiring Award
  • Oil Refining and Manufacturing Award
  • Passenger Vehicle Transportation Award

(Group 2 continued- from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 November 2020)

  • Pastoral Award
  • Pest Control Industry Award
  • Pharmaceutical Industry Award
  • Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award
  • Port Authorities Award
  • Ports, Harbours and Enclosed Water Vessels Award
  • Poultry Processing Award
  • Premixed Concrete Award
  • Professional Diving Industry (Industrial) Award
  • Professional Employees Award
  • Rail Industry Award
  • Real Estate Industry Award
  • Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award
  • Road Transport and Distribution Award
  • Salt Industry Award
  • Seafood Processing Award
  • Seagoing Industry Award
  • Security Services Award
  • Silviculture Award
  • Stevedoring Industry Award
  • Storage Services and Wholesale Award
  • Sugar Industry Award
  • Supported Employment Services Award
  • Surveying Award
  • Telecommunications Services Award
  • Textile, Clothing, Footwear and Associated Industries Award
  • Timber Industry Award
  • Transport (Cash in Transit) Award
  • Waste Management Award
  • Wool Storage, Sampling and Testing Award


The modern award minimum wages in the Awards listed below will be increased by 1.75 per cent from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 February 2021.

  • Air Pilots Award
  • Aircraft Cabin Crew Award
  • Airline Operations-Ground Staff Award
  • Airport Employees Award

(Group 3 continued- from the start of the first full pay period on or after 1 February 2021)

  • Alpine Resorts Award
  • Amusement, Events and Recreation Award
  • Commercial Sales Award
  • Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award
  • Fast Food Industry Award
  • Fitness Industry Award
  • General Retail Industry Award
  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award
  • Horse and Greyhound Training Award
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award
  • Live Performance Award
  • Mannequins and Models Award
  • Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award
  • Nursery Award
  • Professional Diving Industry (Recreational) Award
  • Racing Clubs Events Award
  • Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award
  • Restaurant Industry Award
  • Sporting Organisations Award
  • Travelling Shows Award
  • Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award
  • Wine Industry Award



(1)    Find your Award

  • Go to the home page of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website:
  • Hover your mouse over the box in the main menu entitled “Awards & Agreements”. This will bring up a drop-down
  • Single left-click on “Awards” (the second sub-heading down). On the left-hand side of the page that opens there is a box with a number of
  • Single left-click on “List of Awards”. Scroll down the page that opens until you get to the heading “A-Z List of Awards”.  You can then either scroll down to the Award you want, or click on the letter at the head of the list that begins the first word of the name of the Award you are looking
  • Single left-click on the name of the Award and this will take you to the full
  • If you want to find a specific clause in the Award, on the left-hand side is a column with the title of each clause of the A single left-click on the title of the clause you want will take you direct to that clause.  Alternatively, scroll down the main text in the middle of the page.

(2)    Find the Pay Guide

  • In the column on the right-hand side of the page there are a number of headings (most of which you will not need to use).
  • Single left-click on the sub-heading “Summaries”, which will open a drop-down menu that lists a number of documents in date order, with the most recent at the
  • If you single left-click on a particular document, it will download a document for you to open entitled “Pay Guide”, which sets out all the rates of pay and allowances under the
  • Open the Pay Guide, which is a pdf document.
  • On the front page under the title is the date the rates in the Guide apply Note that it is the date the rates took effect that matters, not the date the Guide was published.
  • Once in the Guide, go to the appropriate table for what you are looking For example, if you are looking for the Saturday rate for an Adult casual who works some of their ordinary hours on a Saturday, you will scroll through to the table headed “Casuals”, pick the correct classification and work across to the column you need.
  • If you need older rates of pay, simply go to the Pay Guide that came into effect before the date you need to check.


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