In a bid to improve the quality of life for its citizens, Canberra has been granted an exemption from the national minimum wage.
Key points:The ACT Government says the new exemption allows construction firms to get work done on existing buildings without raising the minimum wageThe ACT has been one of the biggest construction states in Australia since the end of the mining boomA new bill is also being considered that would extend the exemption to all construction firms.
Construction firms can get up to $8.00 an hour for construction work, and up to 25 hours for work in the design, engineering and construction industries.
In 2016, the ACT Government said it was trying to encourage construction firms with low incomes to come into the construction industry.
It said the ACT’s minimum wage, which is $18.50 an hour, was currently the lowest in the country, and that it was aiming to keep it that way.
In a statement to the ABC, the Department of Finance said it understood that some construction firms were using this exemption as an opportunity to get around the current minimum wage rules, but that it had no plans to increase the threshold to $18 an hour.
“The ACT’s new legislation provides an opportunity for construction firms working on the construction of a new dwelling to be exempt from paying the national national minimum,” the statement read.
“However, there is no plan to extend this exemption to new dwelling construction or to other construction industries.”
Construction firm Doreen and Co have already been approved to work on a new house for $3.2 million.
The building industry is not a small business.
The ACT government has said it hopes to increase its minimum wage to $20 an hour by 2020.
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