“The Increase To The Minimum Wage Is Yet Another Blow

“The Increase To The Minimum Wage Is Yet Another Blow

A daily email by free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, providing the latest economic data and policy measures for journalists, commentators and IPA members.

Daily IPA comment attributable to Cian Hussey, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs:

“The Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage in the middle of the greatest employment crisis in a generation will disproportionately harm young and low-skilled Australian workers.”

“The increase to the minimum wage is yet another blow to small businesses who have already been devastated by the government-imposed lockdowns.”

“Australia already had the highest minimum wage in the world and this increase, which comes at time of mass unemployment, will make it even more difficult to create jobs and expand hiring.”

Research prepared by IPA Research Fellows Kurt Wallace and Cian Hussey. 

Latest Changes

Australia

  • 7,391 confirmed cases and 102 deaths. There are 412 active cases and 6,877 recoveries. There are 14 cases in hospital and 2 of those are in intensive care.
  • According to preliminary figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, retail trade rose 16.3% in May, the largest single-month increase on record following the largest single-month decrease on record of 17.7% in April. Across all industries, retail trade in May was 5.3% above the same month last year. However, compared to last year, clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing remains more than 20% down and cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services are down around 30%.
  • The timing of this year’s minimum wage increase awarded by the Fair Work Commission will be staggered across different industries depending on how they have been impacted by COVID-19 and government-imposed lockdowns. Increases will come into effect from:
    • 1 July for Group 1, which includes frontline health care, child care and essential service workers.
    • 1 November for Group 2, which includes mining and construction.
    • 1 February 2021 for Group 3, which includes accommodation and food services, retail trade, arts and recreation services, aviation and tourism.

International

  • In the US, there were 1.5 million initial unemployment insurance claims. Around 46 million initial claims have been lodged since the start of the lockdowns.

Labour force paid by the government

54.3% of the labour force is either directly employed by Commonwealth and state governments or local councils, or is in receipt of the JobSeeker unemployment payment or the JobKeeper wage subsidy:

  • Public sector: 2 million (15.3% of labour force).
  • JobSeeker: 1.6 million (12.2% of labour force).
  • JobKeeper: 3.5 million (26.8% of labour force).
  • Total: 7.1 million (54.3% of labour force).
  • Labour force: 13.08 million.

Plans to lift restrictions

NSW

Current restrictions

  • Home gathering restricted to 20 guests not including the household.
  • Weddings limited to 20 guests.
  • Funerals restricted to 20 people indoors and 30 people outdoors.
  • Pubs, clubs, cafes, and restaurants are restricted to 50 customers and must not exceed one customer per four square metres.
  • Religious services restricted to 50 people.
  • Employers must allow employees to work from home where it is reasonably practical to do so.
  • Gyms, yoga studios, tattoo parlours and massage parlours can reopen with a limited to 100 people per venue and 10 people per class.

Announced easing of restrictions
1 July

  • Community sport allowed to resume.
  • Indoor venue restrictions will be limited to one person per four square metres with the maximum cap being removed.
  • Events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity under 40,000 will be allowed to operate at 25% capacity with ticketed seating and social distancing measures in place.

Victoria

Current restrictions

  • Private gatherings limited to 20 people including the members of the household.
  • Staff are required to work from home if they can.
  • Weddings limited to 20 guests.
  • Funerals limited to 50 people.
  • Religious services limited to 20 people.
  • Restaurants, cafes, and pubs restricted to 20 customers per space. Alcohol only served with food.
  • Beauty services, community facilities, swimming pools, museums, amusement parks, zoos, non-contact outdoor sporting activities, real estate auctions, and open houses are restricted to 20 people per space with social distancing measures.
  • Shared facilities at camping and accommodation venues must remain closed.
  • Indoor sports centres and gyms remain closed.

Announced easing of restrictions

22 June

  • The restrictions on cafes, restaurants, and pubs will be raised to 50 people.
  • Community facilities, swimming pools, museums, amusement parks, zoos, and non-contact outdoor sporting activities will increase to 50 people per space with social distancing measures.
  • Gyms and other indoor sports centres will be allowed 20 people per undivided space and 10 people per group.
  • Indoor venues including cinemas, concert venues, and stadiums will be allowed up to 50 seated patrons per space.

Mid-July

  • The restriction on cafes, restaurants, and pubs may be raised to 100 people.

Queensland

Current restrictions

  • Home gatherings limited to 20 people including the household.
  • Funerals limited to 100 people.
  • Weddings limited to 20 people.
  • Restaurants, cafes, and pubs restricted to 20 patrons per space.
  • Beauty services, entertainment venues, auctions, open homes, libraries, and museums limited to 20 people.
  • State border restrictions remain in place. Entry is restricted to Queensland residents, residents from border communities undertaking essential services, and those with an exemption. International travellers and interstate travellers from declared hotspots must undertake a 14 day quarantine.

Announced easing of restrictions

10 July

  • Gathering limits raised to 100 people.

South Australia

Current restrictions

  • Gatherings restricted to 20 people per room or area, with 1 person per 4 square metres, up to a total of 80 guests at the venue. This includes venues such as cafes and restaurants and events such as weddings.
  • Funerals are restricted to a maximum of 50 attendees.
  • Alcohol can only be served with a meal to those seated.
  • Indoor and outdoor sport is permitted but restricted to non-contact activities. Indoor sport restricted to training only. Changing rooms, showers, and sauna or spa facilities must remain closed.
  • Non-essential travellers from Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT may enter the state, but must quarantine for 14 days.
  • Visitors to aged-care facilities must have had an influenza vaccination.
  • Movement into some remote and regional areas is restricted at least until 17 September.

Announced easing of restrictions

25 June

  • Indoor sport competition can take place, restricted to non-contact only.

20 July

  • State border restrictions will be lifted.

Western Australia

Current restrictions

  • Non-work indoor and outdoor gatherings restricted to 100 people per single undivided space, and up to 300 people in total per venue across multiple spaces.
  • Weddings and funerals restricted to 100 people.
  • Intra-state travel is permitted, but some restrictions remain for travel to remote communities.
  • All venues are restricted to 1 person per 2 square metres.
  • Alcohol may be served without a meal, but patrons must be seated.
  • Food courts can reopen, but patrons must be seated.
  • All wellbeing and health services (beauty salons, saunas, etc.) can resume. All gyms, health clubs, and indoor sports centres can reopen, and contact sport and training is allowed.
  • Tabs and Pub TABs can reopen.
  • Businesses encouraged to bring workers back on-site.

Tasmania

Current restrictions

  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings restricted to 20 people, with physical distancing and a maximum of 1 person per 4 square metres.
  • Weddings and religious ceremonies (including church services) limited to 40 attendees.
  • Funerals limited to 50 attendees.
  • Households limited to 10 visitors.
  • Museums, galleries and historic sites limited to 80 attendees.
  • Theatres and concert venues limited to 40 attendees.
  • Outdoor community sport and indoor sport and recreation permitted with up to 20 participants. Showers and change rooms remain closed.
  • Working from home is encouraged.

Announced easing of restrictions

13 July

  • Limit on gatherings increased to 50-100 people.
  • Aged care homes allowed 5 visitors.
  • Day trips and camping for school groups allowed.
  • Saunas and bathhouses can reopen.
  • Allowed five visitors and multiple visits.

Northern Territory

Current restrictions

  • All interstate arrivals must quarantine for 14 days in a facility of the governments choosing and will be required to pay costs.
  • Major events are restricted and subject to a case-by-case approval.
  • Interstate arrivals must still quarantine for 14 days but can choose their own self-quarantine arrangements.

ACT

Current restrictions

  • Gatherings limited to 20 people with 1 person per 4 square metres.
  • Funerals limited to 50 attendees.
  • Beauty therapy, nail salons, spa and massage parlours open.
  • Gyms, health clubs, fitness and wellness centres restricted to small group supervised sessions.
  • Low-contact indoor and outdoor sport permitted.

Announced easing of restrictions

19 June

  • Concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums open for rehearsals and small performances with a maximum of 50 people.
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