Pharmacy wage increase

New minimum rates for pharmacy workers now apply from 1 July

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently handed down its Annual Wage Review Decision, in which it determined to increase all minimum award rates of pay by 1.75%.

It will be applying three different operative dates for the commencement of these increases based on the impacts of COVID-19 on each sector.

The first group to receive this increase, beginning 1 July, includes employees under the Pharmacy Industry Award.

Other workers who receive an increase in the first round include social assistance workers, teachers and childcare workers, and other essential services.

Remaining groups will receive their increases from either 1 November 2020 or 1 February 2021, based on the impact of COVID-19 on their industries.

Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) says that it sought increases of 4% through the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), however employers in turn sought a pay freeze.

“In the current economic and pandemic environment PPA believes that a 1.75% increase is probably better than expected,” says the union.

The Award now also details minimum rates of pay where penalties apply. These rates can be found here.

“It’s important that you check to make sure that you are being paid at least the minimum rate for your classification. It’s illegal to pay you less than the minimum rate for your classification,” says PPA.

A Pharmacy Guild spokesperson said: “As an employer organisation, the Guild urges all pharmacy employers to comply fully with their legal obligations in terms of wages and entitlements for staff, including the provisions and pay rates under the award where they operate under the award.

“The minimum award rates are now incorporated into the award, noting that many pharmacies in many parts of Australia pay above the award.”

PPA has published the following table that shows the new minimum rates:

Source: PPA.

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