Symposium 2: Minimum Wage Setting under Fair Work Australia: Back to the Future?
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Fair Work Australia (FWA) recently handed down its first minimum wage decision - a $26 per week increase. Although the decision emanated from new legislation, which explicitly references fairness and living standards of the low paid, both the decision and the process by which it was reached closely resemble those of its predecessor, the Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC). It is possible that this resemblance will diminish over time as interpretation of the legislation evolves. But the fundamental need to balance employment and income effects of minimum wage adjustments may lead FWA to deliver similar decisions to the AFPC's notwithstanding the different emphasis in its legislation.