ALP makes recommendations to Fair Work Commission to raise wages for ECEC

ALP makes recommendations to Fair Work Commission to raise wages for ECEC

by Freya Lucas

June 09, 2022

The Australian Labor Party (ALP), as the newly formed Government, has made recommendations to the Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel conducting the Annual Wage Review, recommending that they “ensure the real wages of Australia’s low paid workers do not go backwards”.


“One of our election commitments was to put forward our own submission to the Fair Work Commission advocating for an immediate wage increase for Australia’s low-paid workers, and today we are delivering on that promise,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said. 


“Many low-paid workers are young, female, in casual employment, and are far more likely to find themselves experiencing financial hardship,” he continued.


“These low-paid workers were also on the front line delivering essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in the retail, hospitality, aged care, cleaning, and childcare sectors.”


Economic conditions are highly unusual and challenging given inflation is at a 21-year high of 5.1 per cent and is expected to increase further in the near-term due to persistent and compounding supply shocks, the Prime Minister continued. 


The prevailing high and rising inflation and weak wages growth are reducing real wages across the economy and creating cost-of-living pressures for Australia’s low-paid workers. 


“The Government does not want to see Australian workers go backwards; in particular, those workers on low rates of pay who are experiencing the worst impacts of inflation and have the least capacity to draw on savings,” Mr Albanese said. 


Over the past decade, in 9 out of 10 years, the Panel has increased the minimum wage rate in line with, or above, inflation. The largest increase in recent years was in 2018–19 where a 3.5 per cent increase was ordered, when inflation was only 1.9 per cent. 


“Ensuring that real wages for low-paid workers do not go backwards will protect the relative living standards for these workers and give them the best chance possible to earn a decent living, keep up with skyrocketing costs of living, secure more opportunities and actually get ahead.”


Mr Albanese thanked the Fair Work Commission’s Expert Panel conducting the review for the opportunity to make a submission and said he looked forward to their decision later this month.