Fair pay and conditions are key workplace rights of all Australian workers.
These may be outlined in one or a combination of main legal documents, including:
- Enterprise /Collective Agreement
- Individual contracts (AWAs)
- Statutory written contracts (watch your conditions if you sign one of these)
Contact your union delegate or organiser for this valuable information. Details of unions in Western Australia are available here. If you are not a member of a union but wish to join, please click here.
You can find more information about your award or agreement by:
- contacting the Australian Unions Hotline on 1300 362 223.
- visiting the Australian Unions Helpdesk www.australianunions.org.au/get_advice
- visiting Fair Work Commission www.fairwork.gov.au
- visiting Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission www.wairc.wa.gov.au
- visiting Wageline at the WA Department of Commerce www.commerce.wa.gov.au/labour-relations/contact-wageline
Can you let us know what has been your experience with pay and condition by completing our short online survey here?
The rates on this page are the minimum wage rates applicable to employees covered by the WA State labour relations system and the Federal labour relations system. Many employees are entitled to a higher wage rate because they are covered by an award or enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). To find out if you are covered by an award or EBA, contact your union or the Australian Unions Hotline on 1300 362 223.
As an employee, you are covered by EITHER the State system OR the Federal system.
If you do not know which system you are covered by, contact the Australian Unions Hotline on 1300 362 223.
Who is covered by the National system?
- Employees of constitutional corporations (these are corporations that are trading or financial, usually Pty Ltd or Ltd companies) – this includes most workers in the private sector.
- Employees of the Commonwealth or a Commonwealth authority
- A waterside employees, maritime employees or flight crew officer employed in connection with interstate or overseas trade or commerce.
Federal Minimum Wage
Minimum wages for employees covered by the federal system are no longer included in awards. They are now protected in Australian Pay and Classification Scales, which form part of the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard.
Fair Work Commission determines the minimum pay and conditions for workers under the national workplace relations system, adjusting the federal minimum wage for workers not covered by awards.
New national minimum wage rates begin in July each year and apply through to the end of June in the following year. The rate that currently applies until 30 June 2017 is $672.70 per week or $17.70 per hour. The hourly rate has been calculated on the basis of a 38 hour week for a full-time employee. Casual employees receive a casual loading of 25% giving them a minimum hourly rate of $22.12 per hour.
Information is available on the Fair Work Ombudsman web page.
National modern awards apply to employees in the National Industrial Relations System. Many businesses have an agreement that covers their employees. Modern awards do not apply to an employer and employee while they have an agreement in place.
However the base rate of pay under an agreement must not be less than the base rate of pay under the relevant modern award.
The purpose of the modernised awards is that all employees in the same industry across the country will have the same minimum pay and conditions. There are 122 modern awards which replace around 1700 state based awards.
See Fair Work Ombudsman for more detail on modern awards.
This summary is a general guide only. UnionsWA is not responsible for the result of any action taken, or not taken, as a result of information contained in this summary. If you think that you are not being paid correctly you should contact your union or the Australian Unions Hotline on 1300 362 223 for further information and advice.
New WA minimum wage rates begin in July each year and apply until the end of June in the following year. The rate that currently applies (until 30 June 2017) is $692.90 per week or $18.23 per hour, for a full-time adult over 21 years of age who is not an apprentice or trainee. Full time employees are those working 38 hours/week. Casual employees receive a casual loading of 20% giving them a minimum hourly rate of $21.88 per hour.
Junior employees, ie those under 21 years of age, receive a percentage of this rate based on their age See Section 13 of the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993
Percentage of 21 year old rate
Under 16 years
To find out current award wages and conditions contact Wageline on 1300 655 266 or go to:
Minimum wages for trainees and apprentices
The minimum rates of pay listed in the Minimum Wages for Trainees and Apprentices Schedule apply to award free apprentices and trainees undertaking a traineeship or an apprenticeship registered with the Western Australian Department Training and Workforce Development.
Many trainees and apprentices are entitled to a higher wage rate because they are covered by an award or enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). To find out if you are covered by an award or EBA, contact your union or the Australian Unions Hotline on 1300 362 223. For WA Union Details - click here.
Exclusions from the minimum wage
Certain types of employees are excluded from the minimum wage provisions of the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act 1993. However, these types of employees may be covered by an award or agreement that provides an entitlement to certain wages and conditions. These exclusions are:
- disabled persons working in a supported employment service;
- persons paid wholly by commission or piece rates (per item);
- volunteers; and
- persons appointed under the National Trust of Australia (WA) Act 1964 as wardens.
Workers have a range of rights in the workplace, including the right to act over:
- Wage rates
- Changes to contract arrangements
- Unfair dismissal (in some cases)
- Super and leave pay
- Using industry super funds
- Paid parental leave
If you are a union member and need assistance with an issue at work contact your union delegate or organiser.
Alternatively you can contact the Australian Unions Hotline on 1300 362 223 for advice and help with workplace issues.