Record low wage growth “a handbrake” on economic recovery


Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics show that wage growth has stagnated in Australia for the eighth consecutive year, threatening Australia’s economic recovery.

Driven by low wages growth in the public sector, hospitality and administrative services, 2020’s overall national wage growth has been limited to a mere 1.4%.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has warned of the detrimental effects of wage stagnation to monetary and macroeconomic stability.

Australian Unions Secretary, Sally McManus, has condemned the new figures as threat to our economic recovery and consumer confidence.

“This will put a permanent handbrake on our economy and our recovery”.

McManus has called on the Morrison Government to act urgently to address the issue, beginning with dropping its current Industrial Relations Omnibus bill.

The ACTU’s main concerns with the IR Omnibus Bill include but are not limited to:

  • making it easier for employers to casualise jobs that would have otherwise been permanent,
  • making bargaining for better pay and conditions more difficult than it already is,
  • allowing wage cuts,
  • weakening wage theft punishments in jurisdictions where it was already deemed a criminal act.

The bill will also allow the Fair Work Commission to approve agreements that do not pass the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT) meaning workers could be significantly worse off, even though exemptions for exceptional circumstances already exist for businesses that are struggling to recover from the pandemic-related recession.


Downwards wage pressure on NSW Government workers

At the state level, we are also seeing continued attempts by the government to supress wages growth. During a recent Budget Estimates, the government also confirmed it would pursue a new 1.5% wages policy cap through the NSW Industrial Relations Commission (IRC).

ASMOF NSW and the health unions have major concerns with the government’s punitive policy which is aimed at supressing wages and we will continue our industrial campaign against the government. We will continue to keep members updated on this issue as more information comes to hand.

ASMOF NSW – The Doctors’ Union supports Australian Unions’ campaign to oppose the Industrial Relations Omnibus Bill. To find out more visit: