National Minimum Wage Increase: What Small Businesses Need to Know

From July 1, 2024, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has announced a 3.75% increase in the National Minimum Wage and award wages. This change will impact approximately 2.6 million Australian workers, equivalent to 20.7% of the national workforce. Small businesses must understand the implications of these changes to ensure HR compliance and maintain a smooth operation. In this article, we’ll explore the details of the wage increase and how small businesses can navigate this transition.

Understanding the National Minimum Wage Increase

The new National Minimum Wage will be $24.10 per hour or $915.90 per week for a full-time, 38-hour working week. This increase is significant for employees not covered by an award or registered agreement, ensuring they receive fair compensation for their work. The wage rise will apply from the first full pay period on or after July 1, 2024, meaning businesses must adjust their payroll accordingly.

Award Minimum Wage Increase

The FWC has also announced a 3.75% increase in minimum award wages. Awards are legal documents that outline minimum pay rates and employment conditions in various industries. Most employees are covered by an award, and if your business operates within an industry with an award, you must update your payroll systems to reflect the new rates from July 1, 2024.

Impact on Small Businesses

The increase in minimum and award wages presents both challenges and opportunities for small businesses. On one hand, higher wages can lead to increased costs, putting pressure on profit margins. On the other hand, fair compensation can improve employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity, ultimately benefiting the business in the long run.

HR Compliance for Small Businesses

Ensuring HR compliance is crucial for small businesses, especially during times of regulatory changes. Here are some key steps to help you stay compliant:

  • Review and Update Payroll Systems

Ensure your payroll systems are updated to reflect the new minimum and award wages. This includes adjusting pay rates and ensuring accurate calculations for overtime, penalties, and allowances.

  • Communicate Changes to Employees

Transparency is key when implementing wage changes. Communicate the new wage rates to your employees clearly and promptly. This helps in managing expectations and maintaining a positive work environment.

  • Seek Employment Law Advice for Small Businesses

Navigating employment laws can be complex. Seeking expert advice can help ensure your business remains compliant with the latest regulations. Consider consulting with a specialist in small business HR consulting to get tailored advice for your business.

The National Minimum Wage and award wage increases present both challenges and opportunities for small businesses. By staying informed and compliant, and considering the benefits of outsourcing HR services, small businesses can navigate these changes effectively. For more information and expert HR support, visit Fresh HR Insights.

Needing some extra support – we have a solution –

Fresh HR Insights and Outsource HR provider based on the northern end of the Gold Coast servicing businesses remotely Australia-wide.

Why outsource your HR?

Managing HR compliance can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for small businesses without dedicated HR departments. Outsourcing HR services can provide several benefits:

  • Expertise and Compliance

Outsourced HR services offer access to HR professionals who are well-versed in the latest regulations and compliance requirements. This ensures your business stays compliant and avoids costly penalties.

  • Cost-Effective Solutions

Outsourcing HR services can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time HR manager. You get the expertise you need without the overhead costs associated with a permanent employee.

  • Focus on Core Business Activities

By outsourcing HR functions, you can focus on core business activities and growth. This allows you to allocate resources more efficiently and improve overall productivity.

The above information is general in nature and not designed to replace proper legal advice. We have sourced this information in good faith from the Fair Work Ombudsman site on 04/06/2024 and provided as part of our support of businesses across Australia. If you need extra support in annualised salaries please contact us at