Interested in having your say on what determines the National Minimum Wage?

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The Minimum Wage Panel has called for interested parties to share their views on the needs of low income earners and how best those needs can be measured.

Under our current federal employment laws, an annual wage review is conducted by Fair Work Australia through an elected Minimum Wage Panel. This panel reviews modern award minimum wages and the national minimum wage order to make adjustments which are informed by the Fair Work Australia Research Report. This annual Research report is made with regard to relative wages and living standards and is designed to assess the needs of the low paid. Ultimately, the adjustments made affect all income earners, except  those employed by government agencies and local government authorities, and employers nationally.

In early October 2011, the Minimum Wage Panel expressed concern for an agreed method  of measuring and assessing the needs of the low paid. The Panel has invited interested  parties to consult with the panel to discuss their views on the evolving needs of low income earners and how these needs are best measured. Through these consultations, the minimum Wage review Panel would seek to reach maximum agreement between the interested parties on what are the best proxy measures by using the relevant indicators identified in the Research Report as a starting point for discussion.

If you would like your views to be considered in the Annual Wage Review for 2011-12, which is scheduled to take place between March and June 2012, you would need to firstly provide a brief written submission to Fair Work Australia which concisely evaluates the existing material you think best indicates the needs of the low paid. You may wish to identify any additional information which you believe is essential in supplementing existing materials. All information and material relevant to the process will be made available on the Fair Work Australia website.

As a starting point you should read the existing materials made available in the 2/2011 Research Report which is available online at

Please feel free to contact Christie Howson should you wish to discuss further.

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