Fast food, restaurants & cafés

Free webinar for employees and employers

We're holding a free webinar to help employees and employers understand the changes to annualised salary arrangements in the Restaurant and Hospitality Awards.

The webinar will be held on Thursday 25 August 2022 from 2pm to 2:30pm AEST.

For more information and to register visit Webinars.

Find everything you need to help understand your workplace rights and obligations in the fast food, restaurant or café industry (often called hospo or hospitality).

Tools and resources

  • Interactive award tools – Use these interactive tools to help understand pay, hours of work, penalties, allowances, leave and termination in the:
  • Interactive templates – Use our interactive templates on the Templates page
  • Finding your award – If you’re not sure which award covers your employment, see:
  • Leave Calculator – Calculate annual, sick and carer’s leave using our Leave Calculator
  • Translating our information – To translate the information on this page, choose your language from the menu at the top of the page
  • Tailored help – We have more tailored help for:
  • Email updates – To get personalised workplace information, Subscribe to email updates
  • My account – Ask us your questions online and save your pay rates to your profile by signing up for My account
  • Coronavirus help – For help with your entitlements during coronavirus, visit our Coronavirus website
  • Frankie – Ask our virtual assistant your coronavirus questions. You can find her in the bottom right-hand corner of our Coronavirus website

Understanding awards

Awards are legally enforceable documents that provide employees with minimum pay rates and employment conditions. They cover employers and employees based on the industry they work in and the type of job they do.

Learn more about your award with our interactive tools:

Pay and wages

Employees have to be paid for their work in money. The amount an employee needs to be paid can depend on their age, duties and hours of work. Payment also needs to include any penalties, overtime and other award entitlements for that pay period, such as:

  • weekend rates
  • public holiday rates
  • allowances
  • overtime rates for working extra hours.

Casual employees are also paid a casual loading (a higher pay rate for being a casual employee).

For more information, see:

Salary payments and flat rates

An annual salary, or any flat rate, can't be less than the minimum amount an employee would have been paid under their award.

An employee’s annual salary has to be reviewed after each year to make sure the employee was paid enough.

Employers have to keep track of hours worked and unpaid breaks taken by all of their salaried employees. These records must be kept as paper copies for employees to sign every pay period or roster cycle.

It's a good idea to check employment contracts for details of any annual salary arrangements.

Best practice tip

Reconciling records throughout the year will make it easier to avoid mistakes and debts when it's time for the annual salary review.

Example: When flat rates don’t cover weekend penalties

When Georgia started working at a local café, her employer Dave said he would pay her a flat hourly rate that was higher than the award rate. Dave said the flat rate would be high enough to cover weekend work, casual loading and other entitlements.

One pay period, Georgia did a lot more weekend work than usual. She compared the pay she got for that period against what her award, the Restaurant Award, said she was entitled to. With the weekend penalties she should have got, she realised she’d been underpaid. She told Dave.

Dave looked into it and found Georgia was right. His flat rates weren’t high enough to cover the weekend hours she’d worked that week. Dave worked out how much he owed Georgia and paid her the shortfall.

For more information about salary payments and flat rates, see:

Hours of work

An employee's hours of work (including their minimum hours, breaks and overtime) are provided by their award. These entitlements can be different for full-time, part-time and casual employees.

For more information about these entitlements, see Hours of work, breaks and rosters.

Pay slips and record-keeping

Employees have to be given a pay slip within one working day of being paid.

As an employer, record-keeping is important to keep your business running smoothly, and is required by law.

For information about pay slips and record-keeping, see:

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.

Check out our Fixing a workplace problem section for practical information about:

  • working out if there is a problem
  • speaking with your employer or employee about fixing the problem
  • getting help from us if you can't fix the problem.

Help for small business

  • Contact the small business helpline for quick and easy access to our advisers and workplace relations information. Call the helpline on 13 13 94 and press option 3.
  • Find tools, resources and information you might need in our Small Business Showcase.
  • Our Employer Advisory Service (EAS) gives eligible small businesses free tailored written advice on pay and entitlement issues. Learn more about this service at Employer Advisory Service – overview.