The Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) has issued a new Circular informing Departments and Agencies of the recently increased minimum wage determined by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) last week and its application.
In its Circular 2021/02: Annual Wage Review updating Australian Government Awards APSC said the FWC’s National Minimum Wage Order 2021 increased minimum wages, including minimum award rates, by 2.5 per cent.
“The award increase will happen in three stages,” the APSC said.
“Most awards, including those covering Australian Government employment, will increase from 1 July 2021,” it said.
The Commission said Commonwealth employers had obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 to ensure their employees were paid correctly.
“The base rate of pay for an employee must not be less than the base rate of pay payable under the award which covers that employee,” it said.
“Agencies should ensure that employees are being paid at least the new award minimum pay rates.”
APSC said the minimum hourly pay rate for APS Level 1 employees would increase from $22.61 to $23.18 on 1 July.
It said the FWC would update minimum pay rates in awards and Agencies should refer to their relevant award to ensure payroll processes were up to date and accurate, and to avoid any potential for underpayments.
The Commission said Agencies in bargaining, or planning for bargaining, should assess whether the changes impacted the ‘better off overall test’ for proposed new enterprise agreements.