Business NSW Central Coast says the decision of the Fair Work Commission to raise the national minimum wage by 5.2 per cent and modern award minimum wage rates by 4.6 per cent will put pressure on small businesses at a time when the cost of doing business is already rising.
“Business NSW agreed that there should have been a rise in wages, with our submission to the Fair Work Commission advocating that up to 3 per cent on top of the 0.5 per cent rise to the Superannuation Guarantee was a sensible common ground,” Regional Director, Paula Martin, said.
“The Commission has disagreed.
“We know from our regular Business Conditions Surveys that the costs of doing business are a major concern for business owners, and this will only add to their worries.
“Business NSW estimates the ruling equates to around a $2.5B increase in annual costs to NSW businesses.”
Martin said it was easy to forget that 98 per cent of all businesses in NSW are classified as small businesses.
“This increase is going to take the wind out of the sails of a number of business owners,” she said.
“Despite what many think, no industry has fully bounced back from the ravages of the COVID pandemic, and business owners are battling to open their doors each day.
“In the short term it seems that prices will continue to rise as businesses need ways to cover this dramatic rise in staff costs.
“The Commission has taken into account the pressure on some sectors, with the rise to commence in the tourism, hospitality and aviation sectors from October 1, rather than July 1 for other awards.
“In the public sector, we think the NSW Government has got it right with a 3 per cent increase, going up to 3.5 per cent next year with productivity reforms.
“This approach strikes the right balance between ensuring government sector front line workers get a pay rise while keeping an eye firmly on increasing debt and costs for the taxpayer.”
Media release, Jun 15
Business NSW Central Coast