"Today's Annual Wage Review decision of the Fair Work Commission will add fuel to the inflation fire," Innes Willox, Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.

"There is a major risk that the 5.2% per cent increase that has been awarded to the National Minimum Wage, with increases of between 4.6% and 5.2% to award rates, will fuel inflation and lead to even higher interest rates; even more hardship for people with mortgages, personal loans or credit card debts; and add substantially to the risk of unemployment and underemployment – particularly for unskilled employees. The cost increase will be difficult to absorb for businesses that are already struggling to cope with big increases in material and energy costs, interest rate rises, supply chain disruptions and labour shortages.

"As Ai Group argued for in our submissions, the FWC has take into account the 0.5% increase in the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) from 1 July, the removal of the $450 threshold for SG eligibility and the increase in the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset which will deliver the equivalent of a 1.3% increase in pre-tax income to an employee on the National Minimum Wage over the coming months. In its decision, the FWC has confirmed that it has taken into account these factors and awarded a lower increase than it would otherwise have done. Also, the FWC has decided on a delayed operative date for the wage increase for employees covered by particular awards in the aviation, tourism and hospitality industries, as Ai Group argued for. These industries have not yet fully recovered from the pandemic and need this relief. Despite these factors, the decision will be of great concern to many employers.

"The decision will result in a $40 per week increase to the National Minimum Wage (bringing the NMW to $812.60 per week) and to award rates below the base trade level, and a 4.6% increase to award rates at the base trade level (C10) and higher. The increase is operative from 1 July 2022 for most employees, and from 1 October 2022 for employees covered by certain awards in the aviation, tourism and hospitality industries," Mr Willox said.

Summary of Decision


Wage increases that will apply to particular classification levels in the Manufacturing Award:


Wage rate up to 30 June 2022

Increase ($)

Increase (%)





















C9 and above





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