Final pay

Final pay is what an employer owes an employee when their employment ends.

When to pay

Most awards say that employers need to pay employees their final payment within 7 days of the employment ending. Employment contracts, enterprise agreements or other registered agreements can also specify when final pay must be paid.

If an employee's award, contract or agreement doesn't say when an employee's final pay must be paid, then it's best practice for an employee to be paid within 7 days of their employment ending.

Final pay payments

An employee should get the following entitlements in their final pay:

Sick and carer’s leave is not paid out when employment ends. 

Employment separation certificates

Services Australia sometimes requires employers to complete an Employment Separation Certificate when an employee stops working for them. This certificate needs to include information about final pay payments. For information about giving or receiving separation certificates, go to Employment Separation Certificates for employers.

Calculating final pay

You can use some of our tools to help you work out what money is owed in a final pay payment.

Check your award and pay rate

Use our Pay and Conditions Tool to find your award and pay rate, including penalty rates and allowances.

If you’re covered by an enterprise agreement, you can find enterprise agreements on the Fair Work Commission website.

If you’re not covered by an award or an enterprise agreement, you’re entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

Check annual leave entitlements

Calculate any outstanding annual leave entitlements owed to full-time or part-time employees using our Pay and Conditions Tool.

If an employee gets annual leave loading during employment then it also has to be paid out when employment ends. Annual leave loading is paid out even when an award, registered agreement or employment contract says that it’s not.

Find information about other entitlements relating to final pay in your award by selecting from the list below.

Notice and redundancy

Whether an employee quits or is fired, notice is generally required.

Most awards say that an employer can deduct up to one week’s wages from an employee’s pay if:

  • the employee is over 18
  • the employee hasn’t given the right amount of notice under their award
  • the deduction isn’t unreasonable.

However, employers can only deduct pay from wages owed under the award. They can’t deduct from other entitlements owed to the employee, such as accumulated leave or other over-award payments.

Check your award for more information about withholding pay when minimum notice isn’t given.

If the employer hasn’t given the right notice the employee may be owed money. If the termination was because of a redundancy an employee may also be entitled to redundancy pay.

Check how much notice and redundancy is owed by using our Notice and Redundancy Calculator

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Source reference: Fair Work Act 2009 s.90

Calculate total money owed

Once you have all the above figures, add up all the money owed.

Our Fixing a workplace problem section will give you practical advice on what to do if there’s an issue with your final pay.

If you think there is an underpayment, visit our Common workplace problems section which provides step-by-step guidance on how to fix common issues.

If you still can’t resolve it, visit our Ask for our help with a workplace problem page to find out how we can help you.

For information and help with Tax or Superannuation payments during or when ending employment visit the Australia Tax Office.

Tools and resources

Related information

Have a workplace problem?

Problems can happen in any workplace. If you have a workplace problem, we have tools and information to help you resolve it.

For employees:

If you’ve lost your job, contact the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) first if you think you were sacked because of:

  • discrimination
  • a reason that is harsh, unjust or unreasonable
  • another protected right.

You have 21 days starting from the day after you were dismissed to lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission. Check the information at the Commission website to find out if you can apply for:

If you think you haven’t been paid everything you’re owed:

  • read about Notice and final pay to find out what you should get
  • see our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical advice on:
    • talking to your employer about fixing your notice and final pay if it’s wrong
    • getting help from us if you can’t resolve it.

For employers:

Help for small business