Young workers & students

When you start a new job there are a few things you should be aware of.

Know your employment conditions

Starting a new job is exciting, but it can also be daunting. We’re here to help you with the basics.

When you accept a job offer there are some things you and your employer should be clear on, including:

  • your agreed pay rate
  • what your job duties will be
  • your employment status (eg. full-time, part-time or casual work)
  • what time you'll be starting and finishing work
  • how many hours you'll be working per week
  • whether there’s an award or registered agreement covering your job.

Sometimes these conditions will be agreed to in writing. It’s important that if you agree to something in writing, you read it carefully and understand it before you sign it. If you’re under 18, you may get your parent or guardian to read and sign it for you.

There will be extra conditions and paperwork involved for Apprentices and trainees.

Remember even if you sign a written contract, you’re still covered by the minimum wages and conditions in the relevant award or registered agreement and the National Employment Standards. Visit Employment contracts to find out more.

Know your award or agreement

Ask your employer which award or agreement covers your job so you can find out your minimum conditions of employment.

You can also see our Awards and Agreements page to find an award or to search for an agreement.

Getting paid

Check your minimum pay rate using PayCheck Plus external-icon.png .

Your pay rate may change depending on your age. Most people under 21 will get a junior rate, which is lower than the adult rate of pay. To find out more, see Junior pay rates.

There are also different rates for apprentices and trainees. To find out more, see Apprentice pay and Trainee pay.

As well as your minimum pay rate you may also be entitled to Penalty rates and allowances and Overtime pay.

Getting your pay and pay slips

You have to be paid on a regular basis and be paid with money, not goods or services. For more information see Paying wages.

You can have tax taken out of your wages and your employer may have to make superannuation contributions for you. See Tax and Superannuation for more information.

Your employer also has to give you a pay slip within 1 working day of paying you.

Getting paid leave

If you’re a full-time or part-time employee, you start getting annual leave and personal leave as soon as you start your job.

You can check your minimum leave entitlement using our Leave Calculator external-icon.png . To find out more, see Leave.

Unpaid work

As a young person or student, you may be offered a trial or internship where you don’t get paid. Sometimes it’s okay not to be paid when you are doing a trial or an internship.

But if you are actually working as an employee you should be paid.

Find out more about:

Helpful resources

We have specialised resources for young workers. Check out our Guide for young workers and watch our young worker’s video for helpful tips:



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