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Young workers score massive pay increase from FWC

Some young workers will see their pay more than double starting next February, after a decision handed down yesterday by the Fair Work Commission.

The ruling states that a level 4 junior worker (someone under 21 years of age) will see their rate of pay boosted from approximately $10 an hour depending on their age to the full adult rate of $22.70 an hour.

Shops, Distributive and Allied Employees Union national secretary Gerard Dwyer said the decision was a big win for young workers in retail, who are often expected to perform the same work as adult workers for, sometimes, half the pay.

Dwyer also noted that the old system discriminated against both young and old, as young workers were expected to work for less and often got work that could have gone to an adult employee, who in turn missed out.

However, with the government’s recent incentives for businesses to hire young workers, NRA depty chief executive Lindsay Carroll said employers are baffled by the commissions decision.

“This decision to drive up the cost of hiring teenage workers will inevitably lead to a shift away from hiring younger people, as the financial proposition simply doesn’t add up for business owners anymore,” Carroll said.

“As a time when the Federal Government is stepping on the economic accelerator as hard as it can to get young people into jobs, it is baffling that the Fair Work Commission is pulling on the handbrake.”

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