On July 1 a range of industrial changes came into effect that will largely benefit workers across Australia.
Knowledge is power and union members have the collective power of their membership to ensure we are all protected at work. Knowing your rights is a critical element of avoiding.
Here’s a summary of the changes:
- An increase of the National minimum wage
- An increase of minimum Award wages
- An increase of superannuation
- Additional protections for workers from June 6, 2023
- Changes for international student workers
Minimum Wage Increase
The minimum wage in Australia was $21.38 per hour. However, from July 1, 2023, it increased to $23.23 per hour. If you’re working in a minimum wage role, check your payslip to make sure you’re receiving the increase.
Minimum Award Wage Increase
Many PA members are covered by and paid under an Award. The minimum Award rates will also increase by 5,75% from July 1. Check the Award pay guides below to understand the rates that apply to you.
Pharmacy Industry Award
Professional Employees Award
All other Award pay guides can be found here
Superannuation Rate Increase
Employer-paid superannuation is increased from 10.5% to 11% of your salary or wages from July 1, 2023. Check you’re receiving the full contribution, as early payments make a huge difference to your long-term super balances.
Additional protections for workers from June 6, 2023
A range of new entitlements and protections kicked in for workers last month. These changes will make work fairer and more respectful as well as protect workers from exploitation and discrimination.
There are new job security and flexible work protections, including increased worker protections for pay discussions in the workplace, greater transparency in job advertisements and positive changes to flexible work.
Further protections for Gender equality measures are now enshrined in the Fair Work Act 2009, particularly to protect breastfeeding, gender identity and intersex status, as well as parental leave changes and prohibition of sexual harassment in connection with work.
Workers also have increased pay through changes to minimum and award wages and equal remuneration principles.
The Fair Work Commission is required to establish new expert panels for pay equity and the care and community sector to determine equal remuneration cases and certain award cases. It must also ensure that guidelines, material, and community outreach initiatives are available in multiple languages.
If any of the above changes require union support in your workplace, please get in touch as soon as possible.
Changes for international student workers
Work Hour Restrictions
Work hour restrictions will be coming back for international students from July 1, 2023. Currently, international students can work unlimited hours, but from July 1, 2023, they will be restricted to 48 hours in a fortnight.
There are some exceptions, such as those doing a master’s degree by research or a PhD degree, or those already working in aged care on May 9 this year, who can continue to work unlimited hours.
It’s important to know that the 48-hour restriction applies at all times your course is ‘In Session” including mid semester breaks and exam periods (even if you don’t have an exam). You can only work unlimited hours during official university holiday periods.
When calculating your work hours, you must not work more than 48 hours in any 14-day period. In the below example you may think you’re within limit for both the 1st and 2nd ‘fortnights’ of the month.
Week 1 - 10 hours
Week 2 - 30 hours
Week 3 - 20 hours
Week 4 - 20 hours
In fact, you would be in violation of the restrictions during week 2 & 3 of the month, because hours are calculated in 14-day periods and not in ‘fortnight’ blocks.
Additional Post-Study Work Visas
From July 1, 2023, there will be an additional 2 years added to post-study work visas for students studying in demand occupations. Bachelor’s degree students will receive four years of post-study work visas, master’s degree students will receive five years, and PhD students will receive six years.
If you need visa advice or support, you have access to free migration lawyers as a benefit of your membership.
Graduate Work Stream Visa
For those applying for a graduate work stream visa, from July 1, 2023, applications will require a qualification on the relevant skilled occupation list. Applicants will also need to have a valid skills assessment in the nominated occupation.
Increase in TSMIT
Temporary skilled migration income threshold (TSMIT) will be increasing from $53,900 per year to $70,000 per year from July 1, 2023. Employers must pay at least $70,000 per year if they are sponsoring employees under this scheme.
Join Your Union, Know Your Rights
Knowledge is power and being a union member means having access to the resources of the collective. From lawyers to career coaches and everything in between, being a union member means no matter where or how you work, you are never alone.
If you have questions or concerns about something that is happening at work, don’t wait – contact your union for advice.
If you aren’t a union member, don’t wait, join now and protect yourself and your colleagues.
For advice and support contact your Workplace Advice and Support (WAS) Team on 1300 273 762 or email [email protected]