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Return to Oz: In Australia, $7.75 an hour is for children

Return to Oz

In Australia, $7.75 an hour is for children


© Bryan Zepp Jamieson

February 26th 2013


About 18 months ago, I wrote about Australia’s minimum wage laws, and with Congress poised to reject out of hand a presidential suggestion that the minimum wage should be raised to $9 an hour in the world’s richest country, it’s time to revisit Australia.

I wrote at the time, “Australia passed the Fair Work Act of 2009, which took effect in the form of the National Employment Standards on January 1, 2010. The act covers roughly 2/3rds of Australia’s workers (about 27% of the workforce are deemed “casual workers” defined by a tautology; they are called casual workers because they are paid as casual workers). Some of the provisions are, by American standards, utterly amazing.”

The minimum wage was $569.90 per week, then. Now it’s $606.40, based on a 38 hour work week, or $15.96 an hour. “Casual employees” (part timers) get a minimum of $21.66 an hour, which encourages employers to hire full-time workers and save money.

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