New penalty rates coming into play from Saturday.
New penalty rates coming into play from Saturday. LUKAS COCH

How wages will change from this weekend

WORKERS and employers on the Coffs Coast should take note of two changes to wages which come into effect tomorrow.

Two decisions of the Fair Work Commission take effect this weekend.

This includes an immediate 3.3% increase in the minimum wage; and a staged variation in penalty rates under the Hospitality, Fast Food, Retail and Pharmacy Awards.

The decision does not apply to people employed under enterprise agreements or in other sectors (eg nurses, police, paramedics, etc).

"Small business operators will be paying more in wages to their employees from this weekend. The minimum wage increase is significantly higher than inflation and helps offset the initial reduction in Sunday penalty rates," Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said.

"Big business and unions have made deals in the past through enterprise agreements which traded penalty rates for union membership.

"Small businesses don't have the capacity to negotiate enterprise agreements and continue to grapple with the most complex award system in the world.

"The Fair Work Commission decision is welcomed as a positive first step towards modernising the system.

"It's a shame that unions are running a scare campaign against the penalty rates decision of the independent umpire while accepting the higher minimum wage."



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