20 year old retail workers to get adult wages

20 year-old retail workers will now get paid 100 per cent of adult wages. 

That means a 20 year-old and a 21 year-old doing the same job will get paid the same amount. Makes sense! But it’s only just now becoming the law.

The case, just finalised in the Fair Work Commission was brought by the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) on behalf of younger workers. The Commission ruled in favour of paying 20 year olds under the General Retail Industry Award adult rates as the first step towards paying workers 18 and over full pay.

At the moment (March 2014),

  • 18 year olds workers get paid 70 per cent of the full adult rate
  • 19 year olds get 80 per cent and
  • 20 year olds get 90 per cent of the adult wage.

“The Commission ruled 20 year olds with more than six months’ service will be entitled to 100% pay, phased in from 1 July 2014 so they’ll receive full pay by July 2015.”

SDA National Secretary Joe de Bruyn said “by the time a worker reaches 20, they’ve often had several years experience in the industry. If you’re giving 100 per cent at work, you deserve to be paid 100 per cent too.

“Our young witnesses told of their experiences in the workplace and the utter unfairness in paying younger workers less when they contribute equally and perform the same duties as their colleagues.

The next step in the campaign will be looking at achieving fair rates of pay for 19 year old workers.

Add your voice to the campaign

Learn more
100% Pay at 18

Relevant Resources

First Job, Pay, Rights at work, Uncategorized
9: Getting paid!
Read More
Equality, Pay, Rights at work
The gender pay gap
Read More
Young worker blows the whistle on underpaid staff
Read More