However, a quarter of people were still earning below the "real" Living Wage, which is set by the Living Wage Foundation as £10.55 in London and £9 across the rest of the United Kingdom, and 7.3% of employees were paid at or below the minimum wage. That is $21.60 per week more than the current weekly figure.
The 3% increase is lower than last year's decision by the commission to increase the minimum wage by 3.5%.
The pay hike, which is above the industry rate of 2.3%, will, however, be welcomed by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), which believes annual wage increases of 3% and higher are needed to achieve average inflation of 2.5%, the mid-point of its target band.
The changes come into effect from the start of the first full pay period after July 1, 2019.
The UK national minimum wage sets out the least a worker can be paid per hour by law.
In 2015 faced with complaints about stagnant living standards, Conservative finance minister George Osborne said he wanted to raise the minimum wage for over-25s to 60% of median earnings by 2020 - implying bigger annual increases.
Ross acknowledged some low-paid award-reliant households were sitting below the relative poverty line.
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Restaurant and Catering Australia wanted a wage freeze, which would have meant a cut to real wages.
"It will cost Australian employers an additional $3.1 billion per year", ACCI CEO James Pearson said in a statement. "But such an ambitious move would transform the labour market, and must therefore be approached boldly but cautiously", he said.
"Employers respect the independent decisions of the Fair Work Commission, but a third straight increase well in excess of inflation will be hard for businesses, particularly small businesses, to absorb".
"We are satisfied that the level of increase we have decided upon will not lead to any adverse inflationary outcome and nor will it have any measurable negative impact on employment", Justice Ross said.
Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) chief executive Peter Strong says small businesses will need to absorb the increases by cutting staff hours.
"But we would only do that if we can be confident that we can do it without damaging the employment prospects of people with lower skills". "They are now consistently receiving pay rises above inflation and are better off as a result", Strong tells SmartCompany.
Businesses with enterprise agreements: Employers with enterprise agreements will need to ensure that the base rates of pay in their enterprise agreements are at least equal to the relevant rate in respective awards as increased by the decision.