Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples

Award flexibility

Due to the impacts coronavirus is having on the community, a number of unions and employer associations are applying to the Fair Work Commission to increase award flexibility.

This may affect the information about entitlements on both this page and in the resources found on this page.

For a list of determinations and to see if your award is affected go to Temporary changes to workplace laws during coronavirus.

JobKeeper changes to the Fair Work Act

On 9 April 2020, the Fair Work Act was amended to support the implementation and operation of the JobKeeper scheme in Australian workplaces.

For information about the changes and how they apply, go to JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

We have information and resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the workplace including:

We also have information for employers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Starting a new job

Starting a new job can be exciting. It can also be a bit scary if you’re not sure what you need to do.


Our guide to starting a new job (DOCX 72.7KB)  (PDF 4.3MB) will help you find all the basic information you need before starting a job, including:

  • how to check you're getting the right pay
  • what awards are and how to find out about your rights and entitlements
  • what should be on your payslip
  • what to do if you have a problem at work.

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Rights and entitlements of workers

All workers get minimum entitlements at work. Read our fact sheets about workers’ rights on the following topics:

Find out more about minimum entitlements for employees on our National Employment Standards page

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Taking time off for Sorry Business

If you need time off work for Sorry Business, you might be able to take it off as compassionate leave. Employees can take compassionate leave when someone in their immediate family or household dies or has a life-threatening illness or injury.

If not, you may have other options available to you, such as annual leave, sick/carer's leave, unpaid leave or time off in lieu.

If you need to take time off work for Sorry Business it’s a good idea to let your boss know as soon as you can.

Check out our Do you need time off for Sorry Business fact sheet (DOCX 61KB) (PDF 2.3MB) and message card (DOCX 56.6KB)  (PDF 716.1KB).

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Sorting out problems at work

Most problems at work happen because people are unsure what the law is, or because workers and bosses don’t talk about what’s bothering them.

Watch our video on how to sort out problems at work. It includes tips and guidance on how to talk to your boss.


Check out our guide to fixing workplace problems with your boss (DOCX 74.5KB) (PDF 953KB).

Case study - Trisha’s annual leave

Trisha is planning to visit her community and asks her boss how much annual leave she has. Her boss says she has two weeks annual leave. Trisha thinks there is a problem and checks our leave calculator.

The calculator says that Trisha has three weeks annual leave. She prints the results from the leave calculator, and has a chat to her boss. Her boss checks the records again and says sorry for the mistake.

By talking to her boss in a polite and professional way, Trisha sorted the problem out quickly.

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Ending work

A notice period is the amount of time you may have to give your boss when you leave a job. It’s also the amount of time your boss may need to give you if you’re sacked.

How much notice should you and your boss should give each other? Check your:

  • award
  • registered agreement
  • contract of employment.

If you have an award, use our Pay and Conditions Tool.

It’s also a good idea to put your notice in writing. Check out our fact sheet on ending employment (DOCX 56.1KB) (PDF 1.1MB)for more information.

Redundancy is when a boss no longer requires your job to be done by anyone, or when a business becomes bankrupt or insolvent (runs out of money and has to close). Check out our fact sheet on redundancy (DOCX 57.9KB) (PDF 1.5MB) for more information.

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Employer information

Our guide to hiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff (DOCX 66.5KB)  (PDF 3.8MB) provides information for employers who are hiring or working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Importantly, this resource will also help employers create a workplace environment where their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers feel valued and respected.  

We also have information to help you get the most out of your business and workers:

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