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Submission: Annual Wage Review

The Council of Small Business Organisations (COSBOA) has recommended that legislative wage increases should be between 2-3% for this year's determination.

The Australian Small and Family Business Ombudsman recently found in its Small Business Matters report that:

• 43 percent of small businesses were not making a profit

• The majority of small business owners were paying themselves below-average annual earnings

• The majority of small business owners (almost three-quarters) were working longer than the median of 39 hours per week

Australian small businesses face a critical cost-of-doing-business crisis, exacerbated by inflation and rising operational costs. This situation has led to a stark decrease in business confidence and an increase in insolvencies. Labor costs, especially in sectors like hospitality, are a significant burden, with legislative wage increases and migration policy changes further straining finances. The call for sustainable wage growth is emphasised, suggesting increases should align with productivity to ensure long-term viability. Recommendations include appointing a small business representative to the Fair Work Wage Determination Panel and urging the government to reduce compliance burdens and prioritise productivity enhancements.

See full submission here.

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact COSBOA at or call (+61) 433 644 097.


Luke Achterstraat


Chief Executive Officer



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