In Australia, all employees have the right to a minimum wage determined by the Fair Work Commission.
This evaluation takes place annually on July 1st, considering the industry or occupation. Unfortunately, many overseas workers are unaware of the national minimum average and the laws protecting them, making them vulnerable to exploitation.
To address this, our guide provides valuable information on minimum pay rates for casual, part-time and full-time jobs in Australia and answers to frequently asked questions.
1. What Is The Minimum Wage in Australia?
The minimum wage is the lowest amount you will get paid for your work. All Australian employees are entitled to a minimum wage.
Setting the hourly rate aims to protect workers against low pay. It ensures employers appropriately share the profits that workers help to create, and workers benefit from the fruits of their labour.
The Award sets the minimum wage for most workers that covers their occupation or industry. The National Minimum Wage covers employees not covered under the Award or a registered agreement.
2. What Is The Minimum Wage For Employees In Australia?
The minimum wage in Australia, with effect from July 1, 2023, is as follows:
|Full-time and Part-time||Casual (+25% of the base rate)||Per Week|
|National Minimum Wage||$23.23||$882.80|
|Disabled adults where disability DOES NOT affect productivity||$23.23||$882.80|
|Junior employees younger than 16 years||$8.55||$10.69||-|
|Junior employee 16 year||$10.99||$13.74||-|
|Junior employee 17 year||$13.43||$16.79||-|
|Junior employee 18 year||$15.87||$19.84||-|
|Junior employee 19 year||$19.16||$23.95||-|
|Junior employee 20 year||$22.70||$28.38||-|
Minimum Pay Rates for Award-Free Apprentices on or After 1 July 2023:
Below, you will find the outlined award-free apprentice pay rates for apprenticeships of different durations: 4 years, 3.5 years, 3 years, and 2 years.
If an apprentice is 21 years of age or older, they must be paid either the adult apprentice rate or the rate corresponding to the specific year of their apprenticeship, whichever is higher.
|21 or over||$733.40||$19.30|
|21 or over||$733.40||$19.30|
|4th year||31-42 months||3rd year||All ages||$860.60||$22.65|
Source: Western Australia Government
3. What Are The Different Types Of Minimum Wages In Australia?
The minimum wage in Australia yearly may vary based on a variety of factors, such as:
Your employment type
Your work duties and responsibilities
Your work capacity, for example, junior employees or apprentices.
Based on the above factors, the categorization of minimum wages for workers is as follows:
Apprentice and trainee pay rates
Employees with disability pay rates
Junior pay rates
Note that specific awards have special pay rates or allow employers to make other payment arrangements.
4. Does The Minimum Wage Increase?
Your minimum wage might also increase the longer you work, depending on your work and as you become proficient.
A specialist panel within the Fair Work Commission assesses Modern Award minimum wages yearly. It finalizes the National Minimum Wage for employees not covered by an enterprise agreement or an award.
From July 1, 2023, the Fair Work Commission raised the national minimum wage for a standard 38 hours work week to $882.80 per week or $23.23 per hour, up by 5.75 per cent.
Fair Work Australia Pay Rates Since 2007
Per 38-Hour Week
|October 1, 2007||$13.74||$522.12|
|October 1, 2008||$14.31||$543.78|
|July 1, 2009||Unchanged||Unchanged|
|July 1, 2010||$15.00||$569.90|
|July 1, 2011||$15.51||$589.30|
|July 1, 2012||$15.96||$606.40|
|July 1, 2013||$16.37||$622.20|
|July 1, 2014||$16.87||$640.90|
|July 1, 2015||$17.29||$656.90|
|July 1, 2016||$17.70||$672.70|
|July 1, 2017||$18.29||$694.90|
|July 1, 2018||$18.93||$719.20|
|July 1, 2019||$19.49||$740.80|
|July 1, 2020||$19.84||$753.80|
|July 1, 2021||$20.33||$772.60|
|July 1, 2022||$21.38||$812.44|
|July 1, 2023||$23.23||$882.80|
5. What Does The Minimum Wage Not Include?
The minimum wage does not comprise additional payments you may be entitled to. It includes bonuses, penalty rates/ casual loading, allowances, etc., paid on top of your wages.
6. What Is National Minimum Wage?
A national minimum wage is the minimum pay rate provided by the Fair Work Act 2009. It helps safeguard award-free employees against exploitative arrangements.
Under this arrangement, employees are legally entitled to this lowest rate regardless of their job or industry. The government reviews the national minimum wage every year. From July 1, 2023, it is $23.23 per hour or $882.80 per week.
The National Minimum Wage is paid to employees who work for a business that falls under the National Workplace Relations System and not under an award or agreement. Thus, it applies to employees not covered by an award or registered agreement.
Anything below the national minimum wage is not legal unless you relate to any of the below categories:
You are a young worker below 21 years of age
You are on the Supported Wage System
You are an apprentice or a trainee
Casual employees covered by the national minimum wage also get at least a 25% casual loading. Employees with reduced work capacity due to disability may also receive a certain percentage of a full salary.
7. What Are Modern Awards?
Modern awards are occupation or industry-based minimum entitlements for wages and conditions of employment. They are an extensive contract that outlines industry-specific employer obligations. Failing to abide by it could lead to legal action against employers.
Click here to find a complete list of awards. Modern Awards covers the following conditions
Minimum wage rates wages for adults, in some cases, at different rates, based on qualification and experience
Wage rates for employees with a disability, juniors, and employees to whom training arrangements apply.
Hours of work
Meal and Uniform allowances
Super and other minimum conditions.
Awards cover several industries and occupations. Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website to check the Award (s) relevant to your business.
8. What Is Modern Award Minimum Wage?
The minimum wage for employees under an award is specified by the Award covering their profession or industry. With different awards, employers must ensure their employees receive payment under the correct category of Award.
The Modern Award minimum wage (for employees under the Award) may be higher than the national minimum wage (for no-award employees) as the former is based on the employee’s categorization under an award, the number of hours worked, and when they worked.
9. Who Determines Minimum Wages?
Each year, the expert panel at the Fair Work Commission reviews the minimum wages employees receive in the national workplace relations system. It includes both the National Minimum Wage and minimum pay rates under awards.
The panel considers various materials and sources, including written submissions from individuals, organizations, industry experts, research papers, and studies.
The review concludes by making a national minimum wage order that begins on the first entire pay period on or after July 1 every year.
10. What Is The Minimum Wage In Australia For A 16-Year-Old Part-Time?
Australian Employers are legally allowed to pay workers below 16 years of age. The wages for young workers are calculated as a percentage of the national minimum wage. It varies based on the following:
Details of their apprenticeship or traineeship
Type of employment, such as full-time, part-time, or casual
Any awards, agreements, or laws applicable to their job.
The minimum wage in Australia for a 15-year-old in 2023 is $8.55 per hour.
The minimum wage in Australia for a 16-year-old is $10.99 per hour.
The minimum wage in Australia for a 17-year-old in 2023 is $13.43 per hour.
The table below shows the minimum rate payable to young workers in 2023 based on age:
|Age||Percentage of The National Minimum Wage||Hourly Minimum|
11. What Is The Minimum Wage For An Apprentice In Australia?
In Australia, an apprentice earns a training wage that varies with the following factors:
Years of schooling
How long ago they left school
Level of education they have completed
What apprenticeship they are completing
What modern Award do they fall under
What stage of the training they are at
Industry and the nature of the work
The risk involved.
The minimum apprentice’s pay rate is mostly less than the national minimum wage if the apprentice is below 21.
From July 1, 2023, the minimum wage for full-time apprentices under 21 years is $410.70 per week.
The minimum wage for apprentices aged 21 years or more is $733.40 for a first-year adult apprentice.
The pay rate for apprentices increases as they move up to the next level by working for a certain period or showcasing their competency. They may qualify for a higher pay rate if they have worked in the business before commencing their apprenticeship.
12. What Is The Minimum Wage For Juniors In Australia?
An employee under 21 is considered a junior employee in Australia. The minimum wage for junior employees is a percentage of the national minimum wage. It is variable and depends on their age, industry, and the Award or agreement the business falls under.
The minimum pay rates increase with age. Once the employee reaches 21, the full adult minimum wage will apply. If a business is considered “award free” under the Fair Work system and Western Australian State legislation, junior rates apply until age of 20.
Under the General Retail Industry Award 2020, from the first pay period starting on or after July 1, 2015, junior employees earn the following percentage of the wage rate:
|20, employed by the employer for six months or less||90%|
|20, employed by the employer for more than six months||100%|
The Percentage Wage Rate of Junior Employees in Other Industries:
Fast Food Industry Award 2010
Hospitality Industry Award 2010
Restaurant Industry Award 2010
13. How Much Is The Minimum Wage For Part-Time And Casual Employees?
Part-time employees work permanently or on a fixed-term contract for less than 38 hours per week.
A part-time employee can get the same minimum hourly pay rate as a full-time employee, but they earn less than their full-time counterparts due to fewer work hours.
According to Glassdoor Australia, the national average part-time employee salary is $21 in Australia.
Casual employees generally work irregular hours and are not bound by a firm commitment from their employer. They can get an extra payment on top of their fixed hourly wage.
This additional payment is called 'casual loading .'Usually, casual loading is 25% of the fixed hourly wage. However, it may change in an Enterprise Agreement, Employment Contract, or Award.
For employees under an award, the casual loading rate is specified by the appropriate Enterprise Agreement, Modern Award, or other official agreement. The National Minimum Wage Order determines the casual loading rate for no-award- or no-agreement employees.
For example, if a casual worker earns a national minimum wage of $23.23 per hour, and their Enterprise Agreement or Award specifies a casual loading rate of 25%, their total hourly wage would be as follows:
The total hourly wage for Casual Employees - is $23.23 (permanent salary per hour) + $5.80 (25% of the permanent pay per hour) = $29.03.
14. What Is The Average Casual Hourly Rate In Australia?
The pay rate for Casual Employees depends on what agreement or Award covers their workplace and the kind of work they do. The national minimum wage for a casual employee above 21 years is $29.03 per hour.
15. Why Do Casuals Get Paid More?
Casual employees are allowed a higher pay rate as they do not enjoy the benefits that a permanent employee gets, such as paid sick, annual, and personal leave.
They will likely receive a casual loading of 25% of their hourly pay rate on top of their introductory hourly pay rate. This additional payment is compensation for unpaid leaves that permanent employees receive.
16. Do Casual Workers Get Holiday Pay?
Like part-time and full-time employees, casual employees in Australia are also entitled to extra pay when working overtime, on weekends, and on public holidays.
When a casual employee works, they could receive overtime or penalty rates that vary based on the Award or Agreement.
For example, casual employees who work on a public holiday may receive 250% of their hourly rate, including casual loading. This amount may differ for those covered by a different Enterprise Agreement or Award.
17. What Are The Casual Rates In Australia?
According to FairWork Australia, Casuals who are not shift workers get overtime rates when they work weekends and public holidays.
Sunday Casual Pay Rates: Casuals receive 175% of their minimum hourly rate for usual Sunday hours.
Public Holiday Casual Rates: Casuals receive 250% of their minimum hourly rate for work done on a public holiday. It includes their casual loading.
Saturday Casual Rates: Casuals receive 150% of their minimum hourly rate for regular Saturday hours. It includes their casual loading.
Evening Work Casual Rates: Casuals earn 150% of their minimum hourly rate for hours worked after 6 pm on Monday to Friday. It includes their casual loading.
18. What Is Australia's Minimum Wage 2023 For Casuals?
Let us look at the current minimum wage for the top 11 casual and part-time jobs in Australia
Cleaners: Award - Cleaning Services Award (MA000022) - The minimum wage for Level 1 full-time employees is $24.07 per hour, part-time employees $27.68 per hour, and Casual $30.09 per hour.
Fast Food Cashiers: Award - Fast Food Industry Award (MA000003) - The minimum wage for Level 1 full-time or part-time employees - is $24.73 per hour, Casuals - $30.91 per hour.
Food And Beverage Attendants: Award - Restaurant Industry Award (MA000119) - The minimum wage for Level 1 full-time and part-time employees - is $23.23 per hour, and for Casuals - $29.04 per hour.
Security Guards: Award - Security Services Industry Award (MA000016) - The minimum wage for Level 1 full-time or part-time employees - is $25.27 per hour, and for Casuals - $31.59 per hour.
Aged Care Workers: Award - Aged Care Award (MA000018) - The minimum wage for Level 1 full-time or part-time employees - is $24.81 per hour, Casuals - $31.01 per hour.
Shop Assistants: Award - General Retail Industry Award (MA000004) - The minimum wage for Level 1 full-time and part-time employees - is $24.73 per hour, Casuals - $30.91 per hour.
General Labourers: Award - Building and Construction General On-Site Award (MA000020) - The minimum wage for Level 1 (CW/ECW) full-time and part-time Construction workers is $23.71 to 24.94 per hour.
Event Staff: Award - Amusement, Events, and Recreation Award (MA000080) - The minimum wage for Introductory level full-time and part-time employees - is between $12.44 per hour to $19.22 per hour, and for Casuals - it is $15.55 per hour to $24.03 per hour.
Removalists: Award - Road Transport and Distribution Award (MA000038) - The minimum wage for Grade 1 full-time and part-time employees - is $23.89 per hour, Casuals - $29.86 per hour.
Hairdressers: Award - Hair and Beauty Award (MA000005) - The minimum wage for Level 1 full-time and part-time staff is $24.73 per hour, and for Casuals is $30.91 per hour.
Receptionists: Award Clerks- Private Sector Award (MA000002) - The minimum wage for Level 1 full-time and part-time employees - is $23.97 per hour, Casuals - $29.96 per hour.
19. What Is State Minimum Wage?
The national or state minimum wage applies to employees not covered by an agreement or Award. It depends on whether the Western Australia State System or the Fair Work system covers the business.
20. Are Minimum Wages Different In Different States?
Most states fall under the Fair Work Act of 2009, so the current national minimum wage applies to them. But in the case of Western Australia, if the business is a non-constitutional corporation, the Western Australian State System is applicable.
The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission increased the minimum wage and all pay rates in Australia effective from the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2023.
The state minimum wage for adult employees (21 years and above) has increased by 5.3% and is now $22.72 per hour or $863.40 per week.
Effective from July 1 2023, minimum pay rates for award-free employees who are not apprentices or trainees:
|Age||Full Time Weekly
Rate (38 hours)
|Hourly rate||Casual Hourly Rate
(Includes 20% loading)
|Adult (21 or older)||$863.40||$22.72||$27.27|
21. Is It Better To Be Casual Or Part-Time?
Those who think a full-time job is not ideal for them can choose between casual or part-time roles. The type of role you accept impacts your schedule, benefits, wages, and more.
The hourly pay rate for casual employees is at least 25% more than part-time employees for a similar position. This higher rate or Casual loading makes up for the additional benefits that part-time employees get, including job security and paid leave.
Part-time employees receive the same pro-rata salary as their full-time counterparts. They can earn steady salaries even on public holidays and work reasonable overtime without additional pay. However, casuals may receive overtime pay.
Benefits and Entitlements
Both casuals and part-time employees receive the same superannuation benefits.
Casuals enjoy more flexibility than part-time employees as they can request as much leave as they need at any time. Part-time employees, on the other hand, must seek their employer's consent before applying for a holiday. As the Fair Work Act prescribes, they are entitled to only a limited amount of leave.
Also, part-time employees may have to work all assigned shifts, whereas casual employees can refuse any rostered shifts with prior notice.
As mentioned in their service agreement, part-time employees work a fixed number of hours a week (below 38 hours a week). Only their employer can reduce or increase their hours via mutual agreement.
Casual employees, on the other hand, can work variable hours. They can also work mutually agreed hours, which generally change weekly. During a few weeks, casuals may record no work hours.
Leave is unpaid, mainly for casual employees. However, they can avail of leave to travel and recover from diseases if their employer agrees.
A part-time employee working 19 hours a week receives five days of paid sick leave, two weeks of paid annual leave, and a day of paid compassionate leave.
Part-time employees must serve a notice period on termination. During this period, they work and get paid for a fixed notice period after termination. Casual employees get dismissed immediately without compensation.
Furthermore, employers may pay a redundancy payout to part-time employees that help them pay their bills while searching for work.
The Fair Work Act safeguards part-time employees from unfair dismissal after six months of service. It also protects casual employees who can prove they can expect continued employment. However, part-time employees have better protection from unfair dismissal than casuals.
In conclusion, selecting between a part-time or a casual role depends on whether you value flexibility or security. A part-time job is ideal if you want a steady income to meet your financial obligations, like paying regular bills.
On the other hand, if you have considerable savings or live with your family, then the flexibility of a casual role may be more pleasing.
Before accepting a part-time or casual role, consider your current life and plans. Lenders generally provide lend money to people with stable earnings. So, you may prefer part-time work if you plan on obtaining a personal loan/ mortgage.
According to the Employee awards and agreements, when casual employees gain experience in regular work, they can switch from a casual role to a part-time one after a fixed period between six and twelve months.
It is necessary for all workers in Australia to understand their entitlements and rights under Australian law, especially in terms of minimum wage rates.
At the same time, employers must comply with the Fair Work Commission's minimum pay rates to ensure that their workers are fairly compensated and avoid penalties.
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