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Can You Get Away with Paying an Employee $7 per Hour in Australia?
It makes sense for business owners to hire the best employees at the lowest possible hourly rate. This can be hindered by Government regulations that protect the rights of working professionals, transferring costs incurred by employees to the business owner. This can include but is not limited to travel expenses, technical equipment such as computers and holiday pay.
In Australia, regulation states the current full-time minimum wage is $16.37 per hour or $622.20 per week. This means that no employee in Australia should get less than these figures. As a result, wages are a huge expense for any business and it is a recurring cost that needs to be met every week to ensure the business runs smoothly.
Therefore any employer hiring an employee at an hourly rate of $7 should be considered lucky because it means the wage expense for one employee is cut down to more than half the required rate. Which leads to the question, if an Australian employer is paying $7 per hour which is well below the required minimum wage, is there any violation committed by the employer to the employee?
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If we answer this for an employee working in Australia, the answer is yes. Australia’s high cost of living makes it near impossible to live off $7 per hour, especially for a part-time employee.
However if the employee happens to be based offshore, the perception of a $7 per hour wage changes entirely. The minimum hourly wage in a third world country is far less than $7 per hour because the cost of living is far less than Australia. Many highly educated people who live in these countries are more than happy to be paid this rate. They also enjoy other benefits such as working in the comfort of their home and not being confined to normal office hours.
On top of this, the employer only has to pay them for the hours they actually work and not for any lunch breaks, sick leave, carers leave or holiday pay. As a result, both parties win.
These workers have the right to choose how many hours they wish to work per week and the Australian business owner will be paired with an employee who not only has the right capacity to complete the workload but who has the most experience in the employer’s industry.
This workload can vary from a few hours of back-end office tasks each week, to a full-time employee working actively in the business in a multitude of tasks. Either way, the real question is, at $7 per hour can you afford not to have an outsourced worker in your business?
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