Absorbing the annual wage increase

Absorbing the annual wage increase

Minimum wage rates increased by 3.5% on 1 July 2018, but what if you're already paying an employee more than the award minimum? Can the increase be absorbed into those above award payments?

The short answer is “YES”.

Both the Real Estate Industry Award and the Clerks – Private Sector Award contain a provision stating that “the monetary obligations imposed on employers by this award may be absorbed into over award payments.” Further, nothing in the awards “requires an employer to maintain or increase any over award payment.”

This applies when an employer is not otherwise obliged to maintain over award payments. An obligation could apply because of the terms of an employee’s employment contract (though this is not common in the real estate industry).

In the case of an employee who is not covered by an award (which is also not common in our industry), any increase in an employee’s salary would usually be at the employer’s discretion, unless there is a term in the employment contract that prescribes an increase.



If you have any questions about the new minimum rates of pay or over award payments, speak with a REEF Workplace Relations Advisor by calling 1300 616 170.

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About REEF

The Real Estate Employers' Federation is the real estate industry’s leading not-for-profit employer and workplace relations advisory association. It has more than 1600 members and subscribers across Australia.

Each year, REEF receives more than 20,000 calls from real estate employers needing help and guidance on matters affecting the employment relationship.

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