Modern Award minimum wage review effective from 1 July 2020 - performHR

Client - Modern Awards

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to the National Minimum Wage and Modern Award Minimum Wage.

For Modern Awards, this increase will take effect from 1 July 2020, 1 November 2020 or 1 February 2021, depending on your industry. For the National Minimum Wage, the change will occur on 1 July 2020 and any employee not covered by an award or agreement will be entitled to $753.80 per 38-hour week, or $19.84 per hour. An increase of $13.00 per week.

In a year marked by the COVID-19 health crisis, the Commission saw it appropriate to exercise caution in their decision. It was recognised that as a result of the economic downturn unemployment figures are increasing, hours worked are decreasing, while underemployment continues to increase.

It was determined that a conservative 1.75% increase would allow low income workers to maintain their living standards whilst preserving business viability.

In reaching their decision, the Commission recognised that a substantial increase to minimum wages would harm employees’ prospects of being hired and reemployed, and that the absence of an increase may push poorer Australians into poverty.

The decision to increase minimum wages by 1.75% comes after last year’s notably higher increase of 3%.

The Commission took a nuanced approach to this year’s decision – acknowledging how the economic downturn has impacted industries differently. In recognising the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19 for the economy and some industries in particular, the Commission favoured a staged commencement of the increase.

Industries comprised of essential services will experience the change first, followed by industries adversely affected, and then those most adversely affected, such as accommodation and food, arts and recreation, aviation, retail trade and tourism.


It is expected that approximately 25% of award covered employees will be affected by the 1 July change, 40% of award covered employees by the 1 November change, and 33% of award covered employees by the 1 February change.

Changes to Modern Awards will be applied accordingly:

Group 1 – Commencement 1 July 2020


  • Frontline health care and social assistance workers
  • Teachers and child care workers
  • Other essential services

Sample Modern Awards:

  • Aged Care Award 2010
  • Children’s Services Award
  • Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2020
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010

Group 2 – Commencement 1 November 2020


  • Construction
  • Manufacturing

Sample Modern Awards:

  • Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010
  • Clerks – Private Sector Award 2010
  • Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010
  • Joinery and Building Trades Award 2010
  • Professional Employees Award 2020

Group 3 – Commencement 1 February 2021


  • Accommodation and food services
  • Arts and recreation services
  • Aviation
  • Retail trade
  • Tourism

Sample Modern Awards:

  • Fast Food Industry Award 2010
  • General Retail Industry Award 2010
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
  • Live Performance Award 2010
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2020

performHR can help you better understand what the increases mean for your business, employees and your staff payments. Our Employment Relations team are experts in Modern Awards. This increase affects penalty rates and entitlements like annual leave and other allowances. We are here to support you, call us today on 1300 406 005 or reach out here.

“The decision to increase minimum wages by 1.75% comes after last year’s notably higher increase of 3%”

Think People, think perform hr

Free Download

The ultimate HR eBook to benefit every business. Click here to learn more, or download the eBook for free using the form below.

    Our Value-add Key Partnerships

    Legal Advisory

    Perform HR has teamed up with Madison & Marcus, a highly respected and influential employment law firm, to offer our clients the best possible employment and safety advice. Our proactive and practical approach ensures that you receive professional guidance that is tailored to your specific needs. Trust us to keep your business protected and compliant with the latest laws and regulations.

    Visit website >

    Thought Leadership

    Perform HR have teamed with The Growth Faculty an expert in the field of HR and Leadership Thought Leadership.

    Working with The Growth Faculty, Perform HR is able to bring together the people, the thinking, the tools, and the sharing of ideas to grow teams and businesses

    Visit website >

    Sign up to stay in touch with the latest HR news

    © 2024 performHR. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Sitemap.