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UWU will soon release the 2024 edition of our hugely popular Expert Guide To Award Wages. 
Pre-order your copy now. 

Workers in Australia are working harder than ever. But our wages are going backwards and we’re getting crushed by rising costs. And unless we act now, the minimum wage will keep falling further behind. 

Every year, leading up to June, the Fair Work Commission reviews the minimum wage and Award wages of close to three million workers. And like clockwork, big business demands a wage cut.   

But we know the truth – healthy wages are good for working people and good for our economy.  We also know that when we raise wages at the bottom, everyone benefits because it means union members everywhere can push for moreA rising tide lifts all boats.  

It’s time to unite and demand a real increase to the minimum wage and for ALL workers on Award wages. It’s time to tell our stories and speak together with a voice so loud we cannot be ignored.   

Join with United Workers Union members as we stand together and fight for a better future for every worker in Australia.

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Frequently Asked Questions

As of 1 July 2023, the National Minimum Wage is $23.23 an hour or $882.74 a week (if you work 38 hours).   

It is unlawful for an employer to pay you less than the National Minimum Wage, no matter what your job. You can only be paid less if you’re aged under 21; on the Supported Wage System or an apprentice and trainee.  

Most workers are covered by an award or an enterprise agreement and are required to be paid a wage rate that is higher than the National Minimum Wage.   

Modern awards are set by the Fair Work Commission and apply to employers and employees for 120 different industries or occupations. They set out your minimum hourly rates, hours of work and other conditions of employment such as penalty rates. Find your correct Award wage rate here.    

Enterprise agreements are negotiated between employers and employees and set out terms and conditions of employment that are different to those in modern awards. They must provide overall better terms and conditions than would apply under a modern award.  

Minimum hourly rates in an enterprise agreement cannot be less than the rates payable if a modern award applied.  Find your agreement here.  

A union is a group of workers standing together to win better pay and workplace conditions and to protect your rights. From winning strong health and safety laws to annual leave to superannuation, unions are democratic organisations here to help you improve your working life. Join United Workers Union here.  

In March of each year the Fair Work Commission, an independent body, begins a review of the national minimum wage and award wage rates for close to three million workers. 

The Commission’s expert panel considers evidence and submissions from unions, employers and other organisations, and it consults with industry experts and other agencies.   

In June of each year, the expert panel announces its decision, which outlines how much wages will increase. The new rates apply from the first full pay period after 1 July. 

Award wage increases aren’t a gift from employers. Somebody has to ask for them – and that’s where unions like UWU come in.   

Each year we put in a pay claim to the Fair Work Commission’s annual review of award wages on behalf of our members. We submit evidence about the impact of rising costs and why our members deserve a real wage increase. And we take action; speaking out in the media, online and in the streets and pushing back on big business’s attempts to cut our pay.   

Wage theft is the underpayment or non-payment of wages to an employee. Wage theft can occur in a variety of ways, including paying you below the correct minimum rate for your award or enterprise agreement, misclassifying you at the wrong level, not paying you penalty rates or overtime loadings, and not paying you superannuation.  

If you’re a union member, UWU can give you expert advice and support to help you win back your stolen wages. Find out more.  

Superannuation contributions are not taken out of your pay – they’re paid on top of your wages.

By law, your employer must pay at least 11% contribution (of ordinary time earnings) into your nominated or default super fund. This contribution will increase in stages to 12% by July 2025. The next increase of 0.5% is due from 1 July 2024.

Your money is entrusted to your super fund to invest it wisely to help support you when you retire from the workforce. Find out more.