Getting a job in Australia can be exciting – it’s a great way to learn about Australia, meet people and make some money while you study. While every workplace is different, remember, international students have the same workplace rights as all other workers in Australia.
When you start a new job there’s a lot to learn. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has some great information including handy facts to help you understand your rights at work. Watch a short video busting some common work myths and read on to find out more.
Myth 1: Paying low, flat rates of pay for all hours worked is OK if the worker agrees
Fact: Minimum lawful pay rates (minimum wages) are mandatory. In many jobs, penalty rates must be paid for evening, weekend, public holiday and overtime work. Calculate minimum rates using the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay Calculator.
Myth 2: Employees don’t need to be paid for time spent opening and closing.
Fact: Employees must be paid for all hours they work and this includes time spent opening or closing. For example, if an employee is required to be at work at 7:45 a.m. to prepare for an 8 a.m. opening, they need to be paid from 7:45 a.m.
Myth 3: Paying employees with goods such as food, drink or clothing is OK.
Fact: Payment-in-kind is against the law. Employees must be paid money for all work performed.
Myth 4: Employers can make deductions from an employee’s wages to cover losses arising from cash register discrepancies, breakages and customers who don’t pay.
Fact: Unauthorised deductions from an employee’s pay are unlawful. Deductions can be made only in very limited circumstances. Find out more at Deducting pay and overpayments.
Myth 5: Pay slips aren’t mandatory – employers only need to give employees pay slips if they ask for them.
Fact: Employers must give all employees a pay slip within one working day of pay-day. It doesn’t matter how many people the business employs, or how long an employee has been working there. Employers can give employees paper or electronic pay slips, such as a link sent via email.
To help you understand your rights and responsibilities at work, the FWO and the Foundation for Young Australians have teamed up to create a series of videos. You can check them out on the FWO’s YouTube channel.