Piyush Bhartiya
Modified on 2019-09-05 in Australia
Read time: 6 mins

Australia is a wonderful place for anyone who loves adventures. The thrill of being in a foreign land is always fascinating. But this venture stays ecstatic only till you are a traveler. Once you plan to settle there, the story changes. Especially for a foreigner trying to blend in the new culture and environment. The pressure of adjustment is already enough, you don’t want to have adverse situations in your professional life. So, here are 10 things you must know about working in Australia so that you know your workplace rights and don’t have to work long hours and be underpaid.

Know your student work hours

If you are studying in Australia on a student visa and are doing a part-time job along with it. You are legally bound to work only 20 hours per week. This routine is followed during college days. Although, during break hours you can work unlimited hours. If your employer does not comprehend the idea or forces more hours of work on you. You can take action on your level.

Your payslip should be comprehensive

When you receive your monthly salary or stipend, the payslip should mention all the details about the hours of your work, wages given according to your work, any incentive or commission. The payslip should also mention any tax that the company paid to the government on your behalf. This rule is applicable despite your mode of payment that can include cash, cheque, Demand draft, etc.

Minimum wage is your right

Whether you are working full time, part-time or as an intern. You are entitled to a minimum wage according to the government of Australia. As of July 2019, the minimum wage is  $19.49 an hour, i.e. $740.80 per week. Before accepting any job offer, keep this point in mind that the wage that you get paid is not only above the minimum wage but also worth the workload that you will be handling.

Those extra hours of work should be rewarded

While you are working for a company and work more than the time you are allotted, be it working nights, extra hours or during public or allowed holidays. You are entitled to bonus money for that hard work. After receiving your paycheck make sure that you have been paid accordingly in the section of commission/ incentives for the same. 

A Tax File Number is mandatory

You must obtain a Tax File Number to be able to work. It is issued by the Australian Taxation Office to each taxpaying member of their country. It is very similar to a PAN card in India.  You can apply for it through their official website. If you do not have a Tax File Number the tax deducted from your wage will be at the maximum rate even if you are not eligible to pay taxes.

You cannot have an Individual contract

All the employees in Australia will have a common contract of employment which will specify the terms and conditions of the employer and the company. Your employer cannot force you into making an individual contract in any case. This contract is subject to the Australian government. 

You cannot work till you have commenced your course

If you are living in a Student visa in Australia, you cannot start working until your course, whatsoever it may be, has begun. This is also applicable to any of your dependents in the country if any. Internship subjects that are not compulsory in your course will also be considered under work limitations.

Your money cannot be deducted for no legal reasons

If you work as a cashier and your employer deducts money from your paycheck because of the short cash register, he or she is liable to be legally taken action. Your employer cannot deduct your salary for any breakage in the company. The payment should always be in currency and not in kind. Any kind of goods and services should not be accepted.

You deserve superannuation if you earn more than $450

If your monthly income is more than $450, your employer is liable to contribute to superannuation for you. This includes a regular payment that is made into funds by an employee for the future pension. This money is used after the retirement of the employee. The employer is liable to pay a certain percentage of superannuation for their employees.

You are allowed to join your union

A union is an organization formed by a group of people in support or against any ideology or practice. As an employee, you are allowed to join your union irrespective of your employer’s opinion or interest. You cannot be fired or taken any severe action against due to this reason.

These are some of the key points that you should keep in mind before planning to work in Australia, as a student or a full-time worker, so that you are not exploited and your work environment becomes a bliss to you instead of a duty that you need to fulfill despite all the atrocities you face there.


1.How many minimum hours can I work during non-college days?

Ans.  You can work 38 hours per week if you are not attending college.

2. What actions can I take if my employer forces more workload on me?

      Ans. You can talk to your employer about this. If the routine doesn’t change still, you can file a lawsuit against the company. 

3. What is an incentive?

Ans. Incentives are given by companies to employees to improve their performance and goals.

4. Can Incentives be in Kind?

Ans. They can be both in kind and in cash. It can be the company merchandise or any amount.

5. Can my employer reduce my salary after getting recruited?

Ans. No, The employer cannot do that. As the salary is mentioned in the offer letter that works as proof.

6. Can overtime be rewarded with kind?

Ans. No, Overtime must be given as payment.

7. Will my extra hours be reflected in my payslip?

Ans. Yes, the extra hours reflect in your payslip with the number of hours mentioned.

8. What are the reasons for Employers to deduct my salary?

Ans. The reason for any Employer to deduct your salary can be leaves ahead of allowance. Or if you have taken any loan from the company. 

9. What kind of unions can I join?

Ans. You can join unions that are related to your job, area of study, interests, or religion, etc.

10. What are Superannuations?

Ans. Superannuation is a regular payment made into a fund by an employee towards a future pension.

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About the Author

Piyush BhartiyaPiyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. Post completing his MBA, he has worked with the world's # 1 consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group and focused on building sales and marketing verticals for top MNCs and Indian business houses.

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