Federal minimum wage clause - application to vary

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Federal minimum wage clause - application to vary

The Federal Minimum Wage clause, which was introduced by the federal Commission as part of its ‘Living Wage’ decision, is soon to be redrafted following the discovery that the clause has a number of unintended consequences.

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The Federal Minimum Wage clause, which was introduced by the federal Commission as part of its ‘Living Wage’ decision, is soon to be redrafted following the discovery that the clause has a number of unintended consequences.

As reported in HR Link on 22 April 1997 (Issue No 052/97), the Commission determined, among other things, to introduce a ‘Federal Minimum Wage’ of $359.40 to be inserted into all federal awards upon application. In addition, the Commission provided a Federal Minimum Wage clause which was to be inserted into federal awards upon application for the Minimum Wage.

That clause has subsequently been found to have a number of unintended consequences which include overriding special wage arrangements relating to apprentices, adult apprentices, National Training Wage trainees, Australian Traineeship and Career Start trainees, and employees with disabilities employed under the Supportive Wage System.

It is understood that the matter has been the subject of discussions with President O’Connor, and that the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry will shortly apply for a redrafted Federal Minimum Wage clause to be inserted into the T0007 Textile Industry Award. 1994 This will allow a Full Bench to rectify the unintended consequences.

The following is the draft Federal Minimum Wage clause. The draft clause is not only intended to rectify the above consequences, but is intended to clarify the application of the Minimum Wage to juniors, part-time and casual employees.

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Federal Minimum Wage

1. The Federal Minimum Wage

No employee shall be paid less than the federal minimum wage.

2. Amount of Federal Adult Full-Time Minimum Wage

The federal minimum wage for full-time adult employees not covered by subclause (4) [special categories clause], is $359.40 per week.

3. Application of Minimum Wage to Juniors

The federal minimum wage for an employee to whom a junior rate of pay applies is determined by applying the percentage in the junior wage rates clause applicable to the employee concerned to the amount in subclause (2).

4. Application of Minimum Wage to Special Categories of Employee

The federal minimum wage for the following categories of employees is determined as follows:

(a) The federal minimum wage for an employee undertaking an apprenticeship other than an adult apprenticeship is determined by applying the percentage in the apprenticeship wage rates clause applicable to the employee to the minimum wage specified in subclause (2). In the case of an adult apprenticeship the minimum wage is X% of the minimum wage specified in subclause (2);

(b) The federal minimum wage for employees undertaking a National Training Wage Traineeship to whom the highest wage rate in their respective skill level applies is 80% of the minimum wage specified in subclause (2). For employees to whom lower rates apply, the minimum wage is the proportion of this minimum which their wage rate bears to the highest rate in their respective skill level;

(c) The federal minimum wage for employees undertaking an Australian Traineeship or a Career Start Traineeship is the proportion of the minimum wage specified in subclause (2) which their trainee wage bears to the minimum wage that would be payable under the award for the work being undertaken by the employee if the employee was an adult and not undertaking a traineeship;

(d) The federal minimum wage for an employee employed under the Supported Wage System is determined by applying the percentage in the supported wage clause applicable to the employee concerned to the amount of the minimum wage specified in subclause (2) or (3), whichever is applicable.

[(e) Leave reserved for other special categories.]

Note: Where the award does not provide for one of the categories of employment in this subclause, the provisions relating to the category will need to be deleted.

5. Application of the Federal Minimum Wage to Part-time or Casual Employees

The federal minimum wage for a part-time or casual employee is pro rata the minimum wage specified in subclause (2), (3) or (4), whichever is applicable, according to the number of hours worked.

6. Application of Federal Minimum Wage to Award Rates Calculation

The federal minimum wage:

(a) applies to all work in ordinary hours;

(b) applies to the calculation of overtime and all other penalty rates, superannuation, payments during sick leave, long service leave and annual leave, and for all other purposes of this award; and,

(c) is inclusive of the $10 per week arbitrated safety net adjustment provided by the Safety Net Review - Wages April 1997 decision and all previous safety net and national wage adjustments.

Note: The proportion of the general adult minimum wage which should apply to adult apprentices should reflect the fact that apprentices, like NTW trainees, are employed in part-time work and part-time training. Consequently, the actual value of the ‘X per cent’ referred to in subclause 3(c) should reflect the average proportion of time that an adult apprentice employed under the award spends in structured training during the years of the apprenticeship when the minimum wage might be relevant. For example, for a typical apprenticeship where the structured training is undertaken off the job or an average of one day a week at TAFE during the relevant part of the apprenticeship, ‘X per cent’ would be 80%.

 
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