Labor's Plan For Higher Wages


A Shorten Labor Government has a plan for better wages, not bigger tax loopholes for the top end of town.

Under the Liberals, the economy isn’t working for everyday Australians. Everything is going up in Australia except people’s wages. 
People are finding it harder to get ahead. Households are saving less and families are being forced to dip further into their pockets to pay for the essentials.
The Morrison Liberal Government voted eight times to support cuts to penalty rates, cutting the take-home pay of hundreds of thousands of Australians. And the Liberals have said that low wages are a “deliberate design feature” of their economic strategy.

At a time when corporate profits are growing five times faster than wages, Labor believes Australians deserve a decent pay rise.


Labor has a plan to get wages moving again.

Penalty rates: Labor understands that penalty rates are not a luxury. Labor will reverse the cuts to penalty rates in our first 100 days, restoring fair pay for up to 700,000 workers. And we will change the laws to make sure they can’t be cut for anyone again.

Living wage: Labor will ensure that the minimum wage is a living wage – fixing the law so that the Fair Work Commission has the tools to deliver a living wage for Australia’s low-paid workers to ensure they have a decent standard of living.

Labour hire: Labor’s Same Job, Same Pay policy will crack down on dodgy labour hire companies that rip off and exploit workers. Labor will legislate to ensure that workers employed through a labour hire company will receive the same pay and conditions as people employed directly.

Casuals: We want to make sure people aren’t stuck in the purgatory of permanent casualisation, with all the obligations and commitments expected of the permanent employee, but with no guarantee of job security, no leave entitlements and no protections.

Labor will end the use of so-called ‘permanent casuals’ by introducing an objective definition of casual. We will also allow workers to request permanent part-time or full-time employment after 12 months of regular hours with the same employer, and provide workers with the right to challenge an employer who unreasonably refuses such a request.

Gig economy: Labor will make sure workers in the gig economy are paid properly and not used to undermine Australian wages, including by changing the legal test for sham contracting. Labor doesn’t support a business model if it can only succeed by undermining workers’ rights and avoiding workers’ entitlements. 

Wage theft: Failure to pay workers at the legal minimum undermines everyone’s wages. Labor has a plan to crack down on wage theft, with significantly higher penalties and better enforcement.

Pay equity: Labor believes women and men should be paid the same for doing the same work. Labor has a plan to address the gender pay gap.  

Sham agreements: Some employers are using sham enterprise agreements to reduce the pay and conditions of their workforce. Labor will legislate to make sure that agreements have to be agreed by the actual workers who will be covered by them.

Termination of agreements: Labor will legislate to prevent employers using agreement termination to cut wages and conditions

Click here to download more information about Labor's Fair Fo For Workers.