Labor has blasted Malcolm Turnbull's "callous disregard" for workers after the federal government failed to push for an increase to the minimum wage.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the government's submission to the Fair Work Commission did not support a wage increase for low-paid workers.
"When Mr Turnbull says he cares about the battlers, you know he's having a lend of you," he told reporters in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Labor's submission proposes boosting the minimum wage above inflation but does not put a dollar figure on it.
Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O'Connor said it was a "dreadful shame" the government's own submission did not call for workers to get a pay rise.
"It is a testament to the views and values of the prime minister and his government - a callous disregard for working people who are struggling at a time when wage growth is so low," Mr O'Connor said.
The Turnbull government believes there should be a "fair increase " to the minimum wage.
But Workplace Minister Craig Laundy said rather than releasing policies to override the commission's work, the government would provide the panel relevant information and respect its final decision.
"We believe there should be a fair increase that takes into account a balanced set of factors that the panel is required to consider, including the need of the low paid, the performance of the labour market and the economy," Mr Laundy told AAP.
While the government's submission didn't explicitly ask for a pay cut or rise, it cited a handful of studies which showed minimum wage increases had negligible or negative impacts on employment.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions wants a $50-a-week increase in the minimum wage.
Mr O'Connor said Labor did not support the ACTU's push but understood why it had made the claim with wages growth so low.
"What we have said, in relation to our submission, is that (the commission) should grant a real wage increase that is beyond the inflation rate," he said.
The National Retailers Association has called for no increase for the lowest-paid workers, a claim which Mr O'Connor said was appalling and remarkable given the retail sector needed wages growth to do well.
"It's cutting off their nose to spite their face," he said.
Most employer groups have called for an increase in line with or close to inflation which is 1.9 per cent.