Australia is to increase the national minimum wage to $672.70 a week (£342.910), or $17.70 an hour (£9).
This will see the national minimum wage rise by $15.80 a week, the equivalent of 41 cents an hour.
The 2.4% increase, which will come into effect from 1 July 2016, forms part of the Fair Work Commission’s national minimum wage and pay rate review.
Innes Willox, chief executive at the Australian Industry Group, said: “The increase will put upwards pressure on wages. It will be a significant impost on businesses at a time when the economic and business environment is difficult, risky and uncertain.
“There is a clear risk that the decision will be to the particular detriment of people currently out of work and part-time employees hoping to secure additional hours. With jobs growth slowing and unemployment and under-employment remaining at unsatisfactory levels, a more modest wage increase would have reduced the risks of adverse employment outcomes.”
Dave Oliver, secretary at the Australian Council of Trade Unions, added: “Unions argued for a $30 a week increase in the minimum wage for 1.86 million Australian workers, it’s only through our actions that the wage was lifted at all.
“However we are disappointed in the missed opportunity to truly narrow the gap between the minimum wage and average earnings; now would have been the ideal time to lift the minimum wage.”