LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Australia

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman releases statement on penalty rates, minimum wage increase

In response to the 3.3% increase in the minimum wage, the government agency released a statement.

"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.

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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