Should I legally be getting a pay rise?
December 17, 2006 10:19 PM   Subscribe

I work in a company that seemingly doesn't believe in pay rises. Does Australian law allow this?

I have recently heard that here in Australia there is a legal requirement that an employees pay must increase by the same percentage as CPI on an annual basis.

A small part of me thinks this COULD be true, because I'm now worse off financially than I was 2 years ago when I started this job because the cost of living has definitely increased, but the other part of me says there is no way this could be the case - if I want more money I'll have to go elsewhere.

Can anyone confirm or deny please!?!?!?!

posted by paterg to Work & Money (6 answers total)
It's not true that your wages must increase by CPI each year.

Can you provide more details about how you are employed? Public/private sector, award/union collective agreement/non-union collective agreement/AWA, industry, etc.
posted by robcorr at 10:23 PM on December 17, 2006

There's nothing to say wages have to increase with CPI...after all, inflation is partly a product of increasing wages. In order to understand what's going on, you would have to do as Rob says and look at whatever award / contract / agreement you are hired under. It should explain exactly how your wages work. Any increase might be linked to some future wage negotiations.

But from a practical point of view, companies who refuse to increase wages in the face of inflation in the broader economy probably will find their employees going elsewhere - if you want more money quickly, maybe you should take the opportunity and do just that.
posted by Jimbob at 10:29 PM on December 17, 2006

Response by poster:
I'm in the private sector (though our business practice is governed by the government!) and I haven't signed any AWAs or any other agreement that I can recall - infact I even had to hunt down my original employment declaration that heads off to the ATO!.

Not the most competent of employers - scary part is there are many thousands of employees......

I'm not surprise that the CPI increase isn't true... just a little disappointed I guess!
posted by paterg at 10:32 PM on December 17, 2006

If you can't remember signing an agreement, there's a good chance you're covered by an award. If that's the case, then you almost certainly should have received a pay rise.

The first thing I would do in your situation is contact your union. They will be able to tell you how to find out the basis for your employment, and they will be able to tell you whether you should have received a pay rise.

It's very difficult for us to give you any more specific help because it really does depend on your individual circumstances, and on details that you probably don't want to blab in a public forum like this one.

Good luck!
posted by robcorr at 10:56 PM on December 17, 2006

What the others have said - find (or ask your boss for) your terms of employment, check out the award, talk to the union.

Then I suggest you move companies, as any company that has a 'no pay rise' policy is obviously a career dead end.
posted by Lucie at 1:13 AM on December 18, 2006

Have you asked for a raise?
posted by unSane at 2:05 AM on December 18, 2006

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