The First Two Decisions of the Australian Fair Pay Commission: A Critique

Phil Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) was established by the Howard
government under the controversial WorkChoices legislation. It was heralded by its
supporters as a major improvement on the previous system of safety-net wage cases
under the Industrial Relations Commission and universally condemned by the union
movement and Labor. Others questioned whether a minimum wage was needed at
all or even whether it was a major impediment to labour-market adjustment. The
AFPC’s first and subsequent decisions were, therefore, looked on with interest by
the media, academics, politicians and vested interests. This paper provides a critique
of the AFPC’s first decisions and suggests how the process of arriving at a minimum
wage could be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-64
Number of pages20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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