Common questions in the fast food and restaurant industries

Find everything you need to know about common questions and issues in the fast food, restaurant and café industries.

Interactive award summary tools

Our interactive award summary tools help you find the right pay rates and information about your workplace entitlements and obligations.

Use the tool that applies to your award:

Wages and penalty rates

Employees are entitled to a minimum wage based on their award and their classification in the award.

Employees can receive a penalty rate, or higher rate of pay, for working at different times or on different days, like weekends or public holidays.

Employees have to be paid in money for their work.

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Salary payments and flat rates

Employees can be paid a ‘flat rate’, as long as they are paid at least the minimum amount they would have received under their award for the hours they work.

The Restaurant Award has specific rules about entering into annual wage arrangements. These arrangements allow employers to pay their employees an annualised wage to cover some of their award minimum entitlements. This arrangement is different to paying an annual salary under an employment contract.

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Hours of work and rosters

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

The Fast Food Award and Restaurant Award have different rules about hours of work.

The awards also include rules about rostering, such as how early rosters must be provided and where they are displayed.

Employees can keep track of their hours with our Record my hours app.

More information is available at Hours of work, breaks and rosters.


Employees can take leave from work in different situations.

Full-time and part-time employees earn paid leave including:

  • annual leave, which can be taken by agreement with their employer
  • sick and carer’s leave, which can be taken when the employee or someone they’re caring for is unwell.

Casual employees aren’t entitled to paid annual leave or sick and carer’s leave.

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Notice of termination and final pay

Notice of termination

Employers and employees may need to give notice of termination if the employment relationship is ending.

Generally, permanent employees give or receive notice of termination based on their length of employment.

Casual employees aren’t required to give or receive notice of termination.

Final pay

After employment has ended, an employee must receive their final pay, including wages owed to them and any untaken annual leave.

More information is available at Final pay.

Pay slips and record keeping

Pay slips

Employees must be given a pay slip within one working day of being paid. Pay slips can be given electronically or in hard copy. They must include certain details about an employee’s pay.

Record keeping

Employees must be paid for all time worked. Employees should not have their hours ‘rounded’ if the rounding results in an underpayment.

Time and wages records can’t be changed unless the change is to correct an error.

More information is available at Paying wages.

Trial shifts

Employers can ask someone to do a trial shift while they see whether the person is suitable for the job.

Some trial shifts can be unpaid.

However, trial shifts should be paid if:

  • it isn’t needed for the person to show their skills
  • the shift has gone on for longer than is needed for the person to show their skills
  • the shift involves more than just checking out the person’s relevant skills
  • the person isn’t under direct supervision for the trial.

More information is available at Unpaid trials.

Young workers

Young employees have minimum entitlements, just like older employees.

The Fast Food Award and Restaurant Award include junior rates for employees under 21 years of age. These rates are a percentage of the relevant adult pay rate.

Under the Restaurant Award, employees under 21 who work as liquor service employees must be paid adult rates at the appropriate award level.

Different states and territories have rules about how old an employee must be to legally start working in Australia. You can read more at Minimum working age.

More information