The Australian Fair Work Commission (FWC) increased the national minimum wage and modern award minimum wages by 3%, effective 1 July 2019.


For the past few years, the government of Australia has been increasing the minimum wage to a percentage higher than inflation, which successfully led to overall wage growth. This minimum wage growth policy has placed Australia in the top of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) rankings for purchasing power.

Key details

The wage increase is expected to impact 23% of Australian employees, or approximately 2 million people. The increase applies to employees whose pay rates are comprised of:

  • The national minimum wage.
  • A modern award (minimum wage entitlement relating to a specific industry or occupation).

From 1 July 2019, the minimum wage for employees 21 and over is AUD 19.49 per hour, or AUD 740.80 per week (before tax). This amounts to an increase of AUD 0.56 per hour and AUD 21.60 per week.

Most Australian employees are covered by a modern award wage rate based on industry or occupation. The new modern award minimum wage rates can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website.

Next steps

Employers should review their current pay arrangements and apply the wage increase to their employees from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2019.

Additional resources

Fair Work Ombudsman’s website