Retail, fast food and hospitality workers will receive an increase of 1.75 percent in their minimum wage from today.
They are among the last sectors to receive the increase, after the Fair Work Commission delayed its implementation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Retail, fast food and hospitality workers receive wage increase
The Commission agreed to the increase which took effect in many industries from 1 July last year.
As a result, the national minimum wage increased to $19.84 an hour, or $753.80 for a 38-hour week.
However, due to the impact of the pandemic, the Commission staggered its implementation in three stages.
The first round took effect on 1 July, and included workers in healthcare, education, child care and other essential services.
The second round took effect from 1 November, and included workers in construction, manufacturing, legal services and transport.
In addition to retail, fast food and hospitality, those who work in aviation, tourism, health and beauty and fitness also received the increase from today.
The retail, fast-food and hospitality award wage is now $21.78 an hour.
Wage freeze criticised
The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association and the Australian Council of Trade Unions criticised the wage increase freeze.
They argued it is women and young people who make up the majority of the workforce, and would therefore be disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Gerard Dwyer, national secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, said the seven-month delay in the increase cost retail workers $426.
“To many in the community this may seem like a small amount, but for lower-paid workers living from week-to-week, it can make a vital difference in making ends meet.
“In retail terms, their living standards were cut.”
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