The new national minimum wage comes into force on Monday 1 July. Earlier this year the Fair Work Commission (FWC) determined that the minimum wage is to increase by 3 per cent. This is a lower level than last year, when the FWC set a 3.5 per cent increase. The FWC president has justified the slightly lower award this year by pointing to the drop in inflation and recent fall in GDP growth. This decision is set to affect approximately 2.2 million Australians, comprising 21% of the national workforce. The new weekly minimum wage is $740.78 and the hourly minimum wage is $19.49. Loading for casual employees will remain at 25%. The increase will affect the entitlements of employees covered by the modern awards to loading, penalties, allowances and overtime payments. Employers need to ensure that employees are paid in accordance with the new rates from the first pay period on or after 1 July.