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The 5.2 per cent rise in the national minimum wage will add to pressures on printers already battling rapidly rising paper, plate, ink and energy costs.

Book binding at Newstyle.
Minimum wage rise: coming on 1 July

The new minimum wage comes into force on 1 July. The Fair Work Commission has made the decision to increase the National Minimum Wage (NMW) by 5.2 per cent, and minimum rates of pay in modern awards by either $40 per week, or 4.6 per cent, whichever is greater, but not both.

The increase to the NMW and the minimum rates in modern awards that apply to the printing industry– including the Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2020 – will apply from the first full pay period commencing on or after 1 July.

In effect, this means weekly award minimum wage rates currently above $869.60 per week will receive a 4.6 per cent increase, while wage rates below $869.60 per week will be increased by $40 per week.

For award/agreement-free employees, the NMW will increase from $772.60 per week ($20.33 per hour) to $812.60 per week ($21.38 per hour).

A more specific Award-based review will be provided by PVCA and TRMC next week once the Commission has released the detail and application across all Awards. The PVCA HR Service will update all relevant wage guides and have these available by 1 July.

Kellie Northwood, CEO TRMC and incoming CEO, PVCA, said, “Our members are facing significant challenges across all cost of business levers and this ultimately impacts pricing. Communicating the impacts of increased labour costs whilst mitigating paper, consumables and energy costs is an additional pressure point.

“The priority must be placed on understanding the impacts to our industry specifically and PVCA/TRMC are developing very clear communications for all members to ensure they are well prepared for the 1 July implementation in the first instance, as well as assistance across communications into customers and stakeholder groups.

“Whilst we respect the Commissioner’s decision, we do argue that a more moderate increase would have been more appropriate for businesses, especially the manufacturing sector, recovering from the pandemic and undergoing severe talent and skills shortage pressure as well as other supply chain and production costs, particularly energy.

“Next week we will be able to understand the incoming increases to our industry across the Awards we operate within and note in some instances the minimum rates of pay may be able to be absorbed into an employee’s current rate of pay, as long as the result leaves their rate of pay at least equal to the increased Award minimum rates. With this in mind, we will be providing information to members across this once the advice has been issued from the Commission,” concluded Northwood.

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