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 486 466
- visiting the Australian Unions Helpdesk online here.
- visiting Fair Work Ombudsman online here.
- visiting Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission online here.
- visiting Wageline at the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety online here.
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 486 466.
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 486 466.
Are you interested in occupational health and safety training? Check out Unity Training Services here.
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.
National 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.
The national minimum wage usually applies from 1 July each year through to the end of June in the following year. However 2020-21 is different!
The FWC has decided that the National Minimum Wage increase of 1.75% will apply in three stages to three different Groups of national modern awards.
The national minimum wage for all adults (aged 21 years or over) will eventually be $753.80 per week or $19.84 an hour. The hourly rate is calculated on the basis of a 38 hour week for a full-time employee. Casual employees will receive a casual loading of 25% giving them a minimum hourly rate of $24.80 per hour. However the stages of workers receiving this increase will be as follows:
Group 1 Awards - from 1 July 2020
- Frontline Heath Care & Social Assistance Workers
- Teachers and Child Care
- Other Essential Services
(Full list here)
Group 2 Awards - from 1 November 2020
- A range of other industries
(Full list here)
Group 3 Awards - from 1 February 2021
- Accommodation and Food Services
- Arts and Recreation Services
(Full list here)
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 486 466 for further information and advice.
The WA minimum wage usually applies from 1 July each year through to the end of June in the following year. However 2020-21 is different!
The WA Industrial Relations Commission has decided that the state minimum wage increase of 1.75% will only apply from the first pay period after 1 January 2021.
The WA minimum wage for all adults (aged 21 years or over) is $760.00 per week or $20.00 an 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 $24.00 per hour.
Junior employees, i.e. 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
Minimum pay rates for award free employees who are not apprentices or trainees - effective 1 January 2021
|Age||Full time weekly
rate (38 hours)
|Hourly rate||Casual hourly rate
(includes 20% loading)
(21 years or older)
To find out current award wages and conditions visit Wageline or call 1300 655 266.
Minimum wages for trainees and apprentices
The minimum rates of pay listed in the Minimum Wages for and Apprentices Schedule are listed here on line and apply until after 1 January 2021. The rates for trainees are available online here for those undertaking a traineeship 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 486 466. 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);
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:
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 486 466 for advice and help with workplace issues.