By Sewar Mitanis, Senior Associate and Emily Leishman-Crerar, Lawyer 

Fair Work Commission increases the Minimum Wage

The Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) expert panel has this morning published its ruling on the minimum wage review for 2022.

Wage Increases

The FWC panel concluded that the changes in the current economic climate within Australia weigh in favour of an increase in the national minimum wage (NMW) and modern award minimum wages as follows: 

  • An increase of $40 to the NMW, which equates to an increase of 5.2%. The increased NMW will be $812.60 per week or $21.38 per hour. 
  • An increase to modern award minimum wages by 4.6%, subject to a minimum increase for adult award classifications of $40 per week. 


Operative date of wage increase:

  • The increases to the NMW and modern award minimum wages will be effective from 1 July 2022


However, the Panel was satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to warrant a delayed operative date of 1 October 2022 for the following modern awards: 

  • Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2020 
  • Airline Operations – Ground Staff Award 2020 
  • Air Pilots Award 2020 
  • Airport Employees Award 2020 
  • Airservices Australia Enterprise Award 2016
  • Alpine Resorts Award 2020 
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020 
  • Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2020 
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020 
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2020.

How the FWC came to this Ruling

The FWC conducted a review of the national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages. To assist them in coming to their ruling, the FWC panel received submissions from the Australian Government, most state governments, parties that represent the interests of employers and employees, and other bodies.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) last month responded to the acceleration in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) by raising its minimum wage claim from 5% to 5.5%, matching the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest forecasts of mid-year headline CPI. In contrast, several peak employer bodies proposed an increase in minimum wages of between 2.5% to 3%.

During the election campaign, the Labour government promised to make a late submission to the FWC recommending a rise that keeps pace with the 5.1% headline CPI rate, which it delivered after winning the election.

The FWC also considered the 0.5% increase in the Superannuation Guarantee rate, removal of the $450/month superannuation threshold, and the 2022–23 Budget measures when arriving at its final decision.

This FWC ruling delivered one of the highest wage increases seen in Australia in several years.  

Please contact our Employment and Workplace Relations team on 07 5651 2000 for advice related to how these changes may affect your business.



The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any specific entity or individual. Although MBA Lawyers endeavours to provide accurate and timely information, no guarantee is provided that the information is accurate at the time it was published or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.