On 5 July 2007, the AFPC handed down its second wage decision. The decision increased minimum wages from $13.47 to $13.74 per hour, or $10.26 a week for wages below $700, and by $5.30 for wages above $700. The rise took effect from the first pay period commencing on or after 1 October 2007. This was a change of policy from the AFPCs first decision, which took effect on the 1 December 2007 and was criticised by employer groups for causing difficulties for businesses, which had to implement a pay rise within a pay period. Traditionally, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission implemented wage and allowance rises from the first 'pay period commencing' from a set date.
The AFPC took into account the time period between the inaugural and second wage decisions, and other factors including tax cuts announced in the budget that take effect from 1 July 2007. The AFPC, whilst considering these matters, did not discount the wage increase on account of tax cuts.
Another historic feature of the decision was that for the first time, farmers were granted a deferral from the wage increase on account of severe drought. Incapacity to pay had been argued numerous times over the last twenty five years, for the most part unsuccessfully, before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. The AFPC's decision granting the deferral was therefore a landmark in the history of industrial relations for the National Farmers' Federation.
Read more about this topic: Australian Fair Pay Commission
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