Junior pay rates

Get set for a minimum wage increase

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 3.75% increase to the National Minimum Wage and minimum award wages.

For more information, go to Annual Wage Review 2023 to 2024.

A junior is an employee under 21 years old. Find out more about junior pay entitlements below. You can use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate minimum pay rates for juniors.

When junior pay rates apply

Juniors get paid a percentage of the relevant adult pay rate unless the award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement doesn't have junior rates. If there aren’t junior rates in the award or agreement, then juniors are paid the same as adult employees.

The percentages that apply are usually based on the employee’s age and increase on their next birthday.

If a junior employee isn't covered by an award or agreement, they get a percentage of the National Minimum Wage. See Award & agreement free wages & conditions for more information.

Example: Junior pay rate increases

Carly is 17 years old and works in a shop. She’s entitled to 60% of the adult pay rate under her award. She turns 18 on 22 March. From 22 March she’s entitled to 70% of the adult pay rate.

Not sure of your award? Use our 3-step Find my award tool. You can use our Pay and Conditions Tool to calculate minimum junior pay rates under your award.

If you’re covered by an agreement, go to the Fair Work Commission – Find my agreement database to check your agreement.

Special award rates for juniors working around alcohol

There are 2 common awards that entitle juniors to be paid special rates for selling and serving alcohol. They are:

  • Hospitality Award
  • Restaurant Award.

Juniors covered by these awards who sell or serve alcohol, including as a part of their general waiting duties, have to be paid the adult rate for their classification regardless of their age.

Examples of when special rates may apply include when a junior employee:

  • sells alcohol to customers in a casino
  • serves alcohol to a seated customer in a restaurant
  • pours alcoholic drinks for service
  • takes an order for alcohol from a customer
  • delivers alcohol (poured by bar staff) to a customer
  • hands an alcoholic beverage to a customer at the register.

Each state and territory regulates the training required for responsible service of alcohol. Find more information about special rates for working around alcohol under these awards by selecting the relevant industry from the below list.

Junior pay rates under awards

Find information about junior pay rates in your award by selecting from the list below.

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  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

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