Pay, allowances and entitlements
The pay, allowances and entitlements you get when you work will
depend on what your job is and how you're employed.
Know your rights and
It's really important to understand your workplace rights and
conditions when you start a job. Sometimes employers make mistakes
and don't give you the correct pay and allowances for the job you
Allowances are extra payments you're entitled to for things such
as having a certain skill or working in hazardous conditions. You
may also be entitled to things like holiday pay and paid sick
Your employer must provide a safe working environment, including
correct protective equipment and clothing if it is required. You
should also be given training on health and safety issues in the
You need to know whether you're being hired as a full-time
employee, a part-time employee, a casual employee or an independent
contractor. If you're not sure, ask your boss.
The Australian Government sets out what the minimum pay and
minimum working conditions should be.
As well as doing your job, you also have other responsibilities
as an employee in the workplace.
- Act responsibly and take care of yourself and others with
regards to health and safety in the workplace.
- Act respectfully to others with different cultures and social
differences and treat everyone fairly.
- Act to prevent harassment, discrimination and bullying against
others in the workplace
If you are having problems with your pay or conditions here are
some useful website and resources:
Video: What I don't know does hurt me
What I don't know does hurt me video
Starting a job is exciting, but you need to know your rights and
responsibilities. Watch this video to find out what you should know
before you start working.
When you work full-time, you have set hours you have to work (an
average of 38 hours per week), you are paid regularly (e.g. each
fortnight) and you also pay income tax.
Full-time employees have a range of entitlements and legal
protections that are explained in the Fair Work Ombudman's National Employment
Standards (NES). There are ten minimum conditions for
employees, which include your entitlements for leave, public
holidays and sick leave.
Video: First job rights
First job rights video
Hamish gets a cleaning job but does not get paid for it! Watch
the video to find out how the learnt about his rights and ended up
getting paid for the work.
If you work part-time you work a set number of hours each week,
but less than the average 38 hours for full-time workers.
Part-time workers are paid the same amount each week and have
the same entitlements as full-time employees, but on what is called
a 'pro rata' basis.
For example, if you work half the full-time hours each week, you
should get half of what a person would get if they worked
If you are a casual employee, you might work a different number
of hours from week to week. One week you might work 10 hours and
the next week you might work 20. Your pay will depend on the number
of hours you work in that week.
It's important that you know whether you're a casual or a
part-timer because the hourly rate is different. Casuals get a
higher hourly rate because they don't get some of the entitlements
that full-time or part-time employees get (such as sick leave and
It is important to know that employees and contractors have
different rights, pay conditions, allowances and entitlements.
Independent contractors hire out their services to other people,
for example a plumber might do the plumbing for the building of a
Unlike most employees, independent contractors negotiate their
fees and working arrangements, and can work for a number of clients
at one time. For example, a contractor usually won't get superannuation or payments for holidays
or sick days.
Video: Aleisha manages her money on a teaching contract
Video about contract work
Aleisha, a contract teacher, manages her income so that she can
cope financially in between contracts.
Make sure you know whether you're an employee or contractor. If
you're not sure, ask your boss.
Here are some resources for contractors:
First Business app
Thinking about going into business for yourself? ASIC's First
Business app can help you as you move towards starting your own
business. The app provides tips and things to think about,
checklists, case studies and links to additional small business
Last updated: 03 Apr 2018