Managing people

November minimum wage increases

On the first pay period from 1 November 2021 the 2.5% increase to all award minimum wages takes effect. Read on for more information.


From 1 July 2021, the national minimum wage rates increased from $19.84 to $20.33 per hour. For a full-time employee working 38 hours a week, the annual minimum wage went to $40,175.20, or $772.60 a week.

The national minimum wages for juniors, employees under training arrangements, and employees with a disability also increased by 2.5%.

The bulk of the retail sector increases took effect from 1 September.

What it means

The Commission delayed aviation, fitness, arts and recreation, tourism, and other parts of retail and events to take effect from 1 November. 

Minister for Industrial Relations Michaelia Cash said this delay took into account those industries with higher exposure to the effects of the pandemic. She said the decision represented a real wage increase for up to 2.2 million Australian workers. 

Awards increasing in November

  • Air Pilots Award 2020
  • Aircraft Cabin Crew Award 2020 
  • Airline Operations - Ground Staff Award 2020
  • Airport Employees Award 2020 
  • Alpine Resorts Award 2020
  • Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020
  • Dry Cleaning and Laundry Industry Award 2020
  • Fitness Industry Award 2020 
  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010
  • Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020
  • Live Performance Award 2020
  • Mannequins and Models Award 2020
  • Marine Tourism and Charter Vessels Award 2020
  • Nursery Award 2020
  • Racing Clubs Events Award 2020
  • Racing Industry Ground Maintenance Award 2020
  • Registered and Licensed Clubs Award 2020
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2020
  • Sporting Organisations Award 2020
  • Travelling Shows Award 2020
  • Wine Industry Award 2020

Reaction to the rise

Daniel Hunter, CEO of Business NSW, said the increase was “an unnecessary risk and increases businesses’ overheads at a time of continued economic uncertainty. We supported a wage increase of 1.6 per cent (including the 0.5 per cent increase in the Superannuation Guarantee) in our supplementary submission – a suggested cautious approach given the significant challenges and uncertainty facing business.”

The review

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act) requires the Fair Work Commission, constituted by an Expert Panel for annual wage reviews, to conduct and complete a review of the national minimum wage (NMW) and modern award minimum wages in each financial year.

The panel must make an NMW order and may set, vary or revoke modern award minimum wages. 

Read our circular for further details here

Free Award Wage Service

Browse through over 120 Modern Awards to understand your obligations to your employees such as leave and penalty rates, plus subscribe to stay up to date on changes like minimum wage increases. To start, simply join Business Australia as a free member.

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