THE government’s submission to Fair Work calling for a review of Australia’s national awards scheme has brought Australia’s industrial relations debate to a head. As a result, we’re going to see unions, government and business lobby groups start comparing Australia’s IR laws to other OECD countries.

So, we’ve done just that, focusing on three core areas of the IR debate: minimum wage, leave and penalty rates.

Australia’s minimum wage has climbed steadily over the past decade, rising from $US11 in 2004 to around $US16.88 in 2013. And as the chart looking at minimum wages in 2012 shows, it’s often pointed out that when converted to US dollars, Australia has the highest minimum wage of all OECD nations.

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