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The 2024 edition of our hugely popular Expert Guide To Award Wages is now ready. Download your copy now. 

The Minimum Wage:
Could You Survive?

Australia’s minimum wage is $915.90 a week gross (as of 1st July 2024). Do you think you could survive on this wage?

Every Worker Deserves A Living Wage

In a country as wealthy as ours, there’s simply no reason why anyone working full-time should ever be in poverty.

Life On Award Wages: Share Your Story

Are you getting slammed by skyrocketing costs and your wages just aren’t keeping up? We want to hear your stories. 

UWU’s Ultimate Union History Quiz

200 years sticking it to the man and helping Aussies win a better life. Can you get a perfect score on this quiz?


As of 1 July 2024, the National Minimum Wage is $24.10 an hour or $915.90 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 11.5% contribution (of ordinary time earnings) into your nominated or default super fund. This contribution will increase to 12% by July 2025.

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.