Like many international students, you may get a job whilst you study in Australia. It’s important that you know you have the same workplace rights as all workers in Australia.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is a federal government agency. It can help you understand your workplace rights and entitlements, and resolve workplace issues.
To help you get started, here are two questions you should find out from your employer as soon as you start working.
Am I full-time, part-time or casual?
Your type of employment will affect your hours of work, your rate of pay and some of your entitlements. You should ask your employer what your employment type will be before you start your new job.
Generally, employees are either:
- Full-time – work 38 hours per week, plus reasonable additional hours.
- Part-time – work less than 38 hours per week. These employees work a regular pattern of hours which are usually recorded in writing. Part-time employees get entitlements such as annual leave and personal/carer’s leave on a pro-rata basis – this means that it is based on how many ordinary hours they work.
- Casual – normally aren’t guaranteed a certain number of hours each week. They usually get a casual loading (an extra percentage added to their rate of pay) instead of entitlements like paid personal/carer’s leave or annual leave, a paid day off on a public holiday, or redundancy pay.
What should I be paid?
Currently, the National Minimum Wage for adult employees (21 years of age and over) is $19.49 per hour, and $24.36 for casual employees. These rates are reviewed each year and will increase in July 2020.
To find the award that applies to your new job go to find my award or ask your employer what award or enterprise agreement covers you.
Your award or enterprise agreement will also tell you if you are entitled to more money (such as penalty rates) for working nights, weekends and public holidays. You may also be entitled to overtime pay if you work outside the regular hours in your award or enterprise agreement.
You can use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool to work out your minimum pay rate and see if you are entitled to penalty rates.
The Fair Work Ombudsman can help you
To find out more about your rights and entitlements at work or report a workplace issue, register for an online account with the Fair Work Ombudsman at www.fairwork.gov.au/register or speak with an advisor on 13 13 94. You can also report a workplace issue anonymously at www.fairwork.gov.au/tipoff.
You can also access information in your own language at www.fairwork.gov.au/languages or call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.