This Part provides for the FWC (constituted by an Expert Panel) to set and
vary minimum wages for national system employees. For employees covered by
modern awards, minimum wages are specified in the modern award. For
award/agreement free employees, minimum wages are specified in the national
minimum wage order.
Division 2 provides for the minimum wages objective. This requires the
FWC to establish and maintain a safety net of fair minimum wages, taking into
account certain social and economic factors.
Division 3 provides for the FWC (constituted by an Expert Panel) to
conduct annual wage reviews. In an annual wage review, the FWC may set or vary
minimum wages in modern awards, and must make a national minimum wage order.
Minimum wages in modern awards can also be set, or varied (in limited
circumstances), under Part 2-3 (which deals with modern awards).
Division 4 provides for national minimum wage orders and requires
employers to comply with them. The orders set the national minimum wage, as
well as special national minimum wages for junior employees, employees to whom
training arrangements apply and employees with a disability. The orders also
set the casual loading for award/agreement free employees.
National minimum wages and special national minimum wages apply to
award/agreement free employees. However, they are also relevant to other
employees as follows:
(a) in setting or varying modern award minimum wages, the FWC must
take the national minimum wage into account (see subsection 135(2) (in
Part 2-3) and subsection 285(3) (in this Part));
(b) for an employee who is not covered by a modern award and to
whom an enterprise agreement applies, the employee's base rate of pay under
the agreement must not be less than the relevant national minimum wage or
special national minimum wage (see subsection 206(3) (in Part 2-4)).
For an employee who is covered by a modern award and to whom an enterprise
agreement applies, the employee's base rate of pay under the agreement must
not be less than the base rate of pay that would have been payable to the
employee if the award applied (see subsection 206(1) (in Part 2-4)).