“At today’s final hearing in the Annual Wage Review, Ai Group will argue that the Fair Work Commission should not award a minimum wage increase given the major impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and businesses,” Innes Willox, the Chief Executive of the national employer association Ai Group, said today.
“A minimum wage increase at the current time would be harmful to the economy, to businesses, to employees (many of whom would face heightened risks of less secure jobs and fewer working hours) and to the unemployed.
“If, despite Ai Group’s submissions, the Commission decides that a wage increase is warranted, Ai Group will argue that the increase should not be operative before 1 January 2021. The priority at this time needs to be on preserving jobs and encouraging, not deterring, employers from taking on more employees and allocating more hours of employment.
“In its submissions to the Fair Work Commission, the ACTU is endeavouring to paint a picture of an economy that is recovering. The reality is that the RBA and Treasury expect the largest impacts from COVID-19 to be evident in the June quarter, when GDP is expected to fall by 8% p.a. If this occurs, it will be more than twice the size of the most severe quarters of shrinkage in either the 1980s or 1990s recessions in Australia.