Minimum wage rise to cripple small business

THE Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review decision to increase minimum award rates by 3.75 per cent, is a win for workers but means more pressure on small businesses who are already doing it tough.

Bankstown’s Hair Centrall owner Mo Aldoumany said 2024 has been his toughest year yet and news of the minimum wage increase was like “a dagger in his heart”.
“We have to cope with roadworks, higher interest rates and less business; so many people can’t afford the cost of a haircut, I’ve never seen it like this before,” he said.
“Small business was already struggling, this is like the final nail in the coffin; the Government should have consulted us first.”
Aquarius Seafood Restaurant, Georges Hall, manager Adam Sin agrees.
“The Government was very wrong not to consult with small business, this wage increase will be bad for the economy,” he said.
“We’re certainly going to have to look at staffing levels and cutting down some of their hours.”
Revesby’s Hair Appeal & Beauty Connection owner George Trippis said no small business operator would get off lightly.
“I’m hoping I can absorb the wage rises because I don’t want to sack staff or put up prices but it’s going to hurt,” he said.
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) CEO Luke Achterstraat said the minimum wage rises put 2.5 million small businesses at risk.
“The rise comes on top of the 5.75 per cent legislated last year – which was the highest in a decade – plus an impending increase in the superannuation guarantee, and an increase in the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of almost 40 per cent from just over 12 months ago,” he said.
“Employment costs also include superannuation, workers compensation and payroll tax.
“Business owners are paying themselves less than the average salary and working longer just to keep the lights on.”