The Australian Industry Group urges the Panel to be conscious of the fact that anything more than a moderate increase in the NMW and MAMW would exacerbate employment risks facing the slowing Australian economy and labour market.

Further, a more moderate increase in the NMW and MAMW, by easing inflation pressures, will be more likely to bring forward the timing of an easing in interest rates with significant benefits for low paid employees.

In seeking to provide the maintenance of a fair safety net of minimum wages, as contemplated by the FW Act, the Panel must strike a fair balance between the equally important and inherently interconnected interests of employees and employers. In striking this balance this year, the Panel should pay particular regard to the deteriorating state of the Australian economy and the risks to employment this poses.

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