Employees may be entitled to allowances for doing certain tasks, working in certain locations, using a special skill or for incurring expenses for doing their job. Find out what applies to you.

What is an allowance?

Allowances are extra payments made to employees who:

  • do certain tasks
  • have a particular skill they use at work
  • use their own tools at work
  • work in unpleasant or hazardous conditions
  • incur an expense for doing their job.

Common allowances include:

  • uniforms and special clothing
  • tools and equipment
  • travel and fares
  • car and phone
  • first-aid
  • leading hand or supervisor
  • industry of employment (for example building and construction).

Calculating allowances

The allowances that you or your employees are entitled to will depend on the award that applies. Use our Pay and Conditions Tool to find the allowances that apply in your industry.

You can also check out our downloadable pay guides for allowances in your industry.

If you're covered by an agreement, your allowances will be in your agreement. To find an enterprise agreement, go to the Fair Work Commission website.

Workplace arrangements affecting allowances

Some workplace arrangements can affect how allowances are paid. These include:

The overall amount an employee is paid under one of these arrangements has to be at least the same as the amount they would be paid under their award or agreement.

The wages salary payments, employment contracts, IFAs and guarantees of annual earnings need to compensate for other penalties and loadings in an applicable award.

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.

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.

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