Pacific Labour Scheme resources for participants

The Pacific Labour Scheme helps citizens of Pacific island countries gain skills and experience by working in Australia.

Employers and employees under the scheme have the same workplace rights and obligations as other workplaces in Australia. The Fair Work Ombudsman gives free advice and assistance to help you understand these rights.

This page has resources for Pacific Labour Scheme participants including:

Pay and conditions

There are minimum pay rates that employees have to be paid, based on the work they do. Use our Pay Calculator to find minimum pay rates.

Employees also have other minimum conditions at work. These are set out either in an Award or agreement or come from the National Employment Standards.

Watch our short video for information about working in Australia.


Hours of work

Pacific Labour Scheme employers must give employees an average of at least 30 hours of work each week. The hours can be averaged over 12 months. Averaging of hours means that the actual hours worked each week can be different.

Find out more: Hours of work, breaks and rosters.

Record-keeping and pay slips

Employers must keep accurate and complete records for all employees and provide them with a pay slip within 1 working day of pay day.

Pay slips and keeping a record of hours worked can help employers and employees work out the correct pay. 

Find out more: Pay slips and record-keeping.

Taking money out of pay

Taking money out of an employee’s pay before it is paid to them is called a deduction.

There are limited situations when an employer can make a deduction

Find out more: Deducting pay and overpayments.

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Taking time off work

Employees can take leave for many reasons, including to go on a holiday, because they are sick or to take care of sick family members. This is called taking leave. Leave entitlements are different for full-time, part-time and casual employees.

Work out annual leave using our Leave Calculator.

Find out more about:

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Workplace protections

All employees have protected rights at work. Employees can’t be treated differently or worse because they possess or have exercised a right, or for a discriminatory reason.

An employer cannot cancel a visa. Only the Department of Home Affairs can grant, refuse or cancel visas. 

We've set up an arrangement with the Department of Home Affairs to support and encourage migrant workers to come forward to ask for our help and give us any evidence or information about exploitation.

Find out more:

Watch our short video about workplace protections.


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Help with workplace issues

We’re here to help employers and employees. An employee can't get into trouble or have their visa cancelled for contacting us to ask for information about their pay or other entitlements.

For practical steps on how to fix any workplace issues which might happen – including how to ask for our help – visit Fixing a workplace problem.

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More resources for employees

To help you get started at work, use these online resources:

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More resources for employers

For small business employers:

For all employers:

  • register for My account to get important updates about workplace laws relevant to you
  • take our Workplace Basics Quiz to test your knowledge of workplace rights and obligations
  • download the Fair Work Handbook (DOCX 369.6KB)   (PDF 1.1MB) – a useful reference guide that summarises your responsibilities under the Fair Work Act 2009, the National Employment Standards, awards, enterprise agreements and other registered agreements
  • templates – download our templates to help you on a wide range of topics
  • fact sheets – our fact sheets outline minimum rights, responsibilities and entitlements under Australian workplace laws
  • best practice guides – use our best practice guides to achieve happier, fairer and more productive workplaces.

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For information about the Pacific Labour Scheme email the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at or visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website external-icon.png .

For information and assistance on workplace entitlements:

If you need an interpreter call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50. Tell the operator the language you speak and ask the operator to telephone us on 13 13 94.

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