An Expert Panel of the Commission reviews and sets minimum wages for employees in the national system each year. The Fair Work Act sets out the objectives of the review. The process includes research, submissions and consultations.
Each financial year, an Expert Panel of the Commission (the Panel) conducts the annual wage review. The review usually takes place from March to June.
The Fair Work Act 2009 requires the Panel to review:
- minimum wages in modern awards and transitional instruments
- the national minimum wage order from the previous annual wage review.
The decision and order usually come into operation on 1 July of the following financial year.
The review directly affects employees in the national system who are:
- covered by a modern award or a transitional instrument, or
- not covered by either an award or an agreement.
Submissions and comments
The Expert Panel must make sure all interested organisations and individuals have a reasonable opportunity to:
- make written submissions
- comment on other written submissions.
The Panel considers these submissions as part of the review.
The Commission publishes all submissions on our website unless they are confidential or commercially sensitive.
This is a requirement of the Fair Work Act.
As part of the review, the President of the Commission may direct the Panel to investigate and report on certain matters. It must publish all research so the public can make submissions on the issues it covers.
The President or the Panel also set an Annual wage review research program each year. A Minimum Wages Research Group endorses the research. The chair of the group is from the Commission’s Modern Awards and Economic Research Section. This section carries out or requests the research. Other members of the group are representatives nominated by:
- the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- the Australian Industry Group
- the Australian Council of Social Service
- the Australian Council of Trade Unions
- the Australian Government
- state and territory governments.
We publish Annual wage review research on our website.
At the end of the review the Expert Panel issues its decision. After this, the Commission publishes:
- determinations that change the minimum wages in modern awards
- a national minimum wage order for employees who are not covered by an agreement or award.
On the day of the decision, you can watch the announcement live via our homepage. You can also access a replay of the 2021-22 decision.
All Annual Wage Review decisions as well as previous National wage and safety net review decisions are published on the National wage and safety net review decisions page.
The Expert Panel for annual wage reviews
The Expert Panel must consider the provisions and objectives in the Fair Work Act. This includes Part 2-6 of the Act, which deals with minimum wages and annual wage reviews.
The Panel must consider:
- the 'minimum wages objective' (section 284)
- the 'modern awards objective' (section 134).
The Panel must also review a number of transitional instruments. This is a requirement in the Fair Work (Transitional Provisions and Consequential Amendments) Act 2009.
The Panel is made up of:
- the President of the Commission
- 3 other full-time Commission Members
- 3 part-time Members.
The part-time Members only work on the annual wage review. They must have knowledge of, or experience in, one or more of the following fields:
- workplace relations
- social policy
- business, industry or commerce.