Update: Queensland State Wage Case

Each year, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) hear submissions from representative bodies including the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), the Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) and The Australian Workers’ Union of Employees, Queensland (AWU) regarding proposed increases to the Queensland Minimum Wage and wages and allowances under awards.

This year, the QIRC was asked to take into consideration the unprecedented circumstances that have developed in 2020 including the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis and the devastating bush fires on the Australian economy. 

Decision 

On 26 August 2020, the QIRC made the following orders:

  1. That the wages or salaries for full-time adult employees in all state awards shall be increased by 1.75 per cent from 1 September 2020.
  1. Monetary allowances (other than expense related allowances) in all state awards that relate to work or to conditions which have not changed, and service increments, are to be increased by 1.75 per cent.
  1. The minimum wage rate per week for all full-time employees in Queensland is $789.00.
  1. The above increases operate on and from 1 September 2020.

In its findings, the QIRC accepted that consideration of the state wage case for 2020 is unique in that it is being determined against a backdrop of unprecedented health and economic crisis.[1] As a result, the increase is the lowest increase to the Queensland Minimum wage and allowance that the State has seen in a long time.

Consistent Approach with the Federal System

In considering the matters before them, the QIRC also had regard to the recent federal system decision where the Fair Work Commission announced an increase of 1.75% to the national minimum wage along with modern award minimum wages. 

The QIRC stated in its decision that, in determining this year’s State Wage Case it has not only taken into account the economic crisis and the impact of COVID-19 on the State but also the current levels of unemployment and the prospect of reduced inflation.  There is an expectation that the Queensland economy is expected to contract in 2020 and as a result, the increase of 1.75% was accepted.

If you require further information or assistance in applying the State Wage Case to your employees, please call Preston Law on 4052 0730.  Whilst we are Cairns based we service all of Queensland.

 

[1] Declaration of General Ruling (State Wage Case 2020) [2020] QIRC 131 at paragraph 70

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