What were the results of the 2019-20 Wage Review?

Annual Wage Review 2019-20 – 1.75% increase to be rolled out across three dates for different modern awards

This morning the Fair Work Commission released its decision regarding the Annual Wage Review 2019-20.

The decision was much anticipated, considering the impact of the COVID-19 on Australian businesses and the economic downturn which followed. In response, the FWC has adopted a staged approach to introducing the 1.75% increase to the national minimum wage and modern award wages for the 2019-20 period, stating that ‘the data showing the differential impact of the pandemic on particular industry sectors and the import of s.286(2) of the Act warrants a more nuanced approach’.

The 1.75% increase to different groups of modern awards will have staggered ‘Operative Dates’ for industries who were least affected to most affected by the pandemic.

The operative dates are as follows:

Award Group

Operative Date

    Group 1 Awards

    1 July 2020

    Group 2 Awards

    1 November 2020

    Group 3 Awards

    1 February 2021


For a full list of which modern awards are included in each award group, please click here and review page 14 onward.

Group 1.

The modern awards in Group 1 cover industries and sectors less affected by the pandemic, including modern awards applying to frontline health care and social assistance workers, teachers and childcare workers and employees engaged in other essential services, who have continued working throughout the pandemic.

Key Group 1 Awards for ER Strategies clients:

  • Aged Care Award 2010
  • Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2020
  • Nurses Award 2010
  • Pharmacy Industry Award 2020 (note: Changes to Sunday penalty rates also apply on or from 1 July 2020)
  • Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010

Group 2.

The modern awards in Group 2 cover industry sectors adversely impacted by the pandemic, but not to the same extent as the sectors covered by the Group 3 awards.

Key Group 2 Awards for ER Strategies clients:

  • Building and Construction General On-site Award 2010
  • Clerks—Private Sector Award 2010
  • Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010
  • Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award 2010
  • Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2020
  • Meat Industry Award 2020
  • Miscellaneous Award 2020
  • Real Estate Industry Award 2020
  • Security Services Award 2020

Group 3.

The modern awards in Group 3 cover the industry sectors which have been most adversely affected by the pandemic.

Key Group 3 Awards for ER Strategies clients:

  • Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2020
  • Fast Food Industry Award 2010
  • General Retail Industry Award 2010
  • Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010
  • Restaurant Industry Award 2020
  • Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020

As always, the 1.75% increase will apply from the first full pay period on or after the operative date for each award group.

ER Strategies will ensure wage schedules for each relevant award group are made available to clients, or via our website, prior to the operative date for each group.

These schedule will be available on Online HR for existing clients, or for free download via our website for subscribers to our newsletter.

It is recommended that a copy of this schedule is provided to your payroll provider to ensure systems are ready for the changes for your specific operative date.

If you have any questions regarding the changes, or if existing clients have any trouble accessing the new wage schedule, we encourage you to call ER Strategies on 1300 55 66 37.


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