Adult Age Adult Wage

July 2, 2024 Adult Age Adult Wage News

By Tony Stapleton, SDA Assistant Secretary

The SDA recently lodged a groundbreaking case in the Fair Work Commission to abolish junior rates of pay for workers aged 18 years and older. 

Our case is also seeking to lift the rates of pay for most workers under the age of 18.  

For too long, young workers have been discriminated against because of their age.  

So we’re doing something about it.  

Our case will seek to amend the retail, fast food, and pharmacy awards to remove the reduced rates of pay for workers between 18-20 years of age so that all adults receive the adult wage. 

We’re seeking to remove the 70% rate for 18 year olds, 80% for 19 year olds and in fast food and pharmacy, the 90% rate for 20 year olds. 

We’re also seeking to lift the under 16 year olds rate to 50% and the 17 year old to 75%. 

I’m covered by an Enterprise Agreement, will this affect me? 

If you’re on an Enterprise Agreement that has junior rates and our case is successful, the minimum legal rates will be lifted as well. 

Our message is clear: If you’re of Adult Age, you should earn an Adult Wage no matter what. 

But we can’t do this alone. 

We need to send a really strong message to the Fair Work Commission and employers that SDA members support removing junior rates of pay.  

We know this won’t be easy and it will take some time to achieve. Employer lobby groups will throw everything at us.

But we won’t give up. 

We need to stand up and abolish junior rates of pay for workers 18 and over and win an adult wage at an adult age.