Payment for work

When an employee starts a new job they should:

  • check their employment status
  • check their minimum pay rate
  • keep records including the hours they work and the amount they’re paid.

Employers must make sure they know the rules about their employees’ pay and other work conditions.

Types of employment

An employee can be hired as:

  • full-time
  • part-time, or
  • casual.

An employee can also be hired on a fixed term contract, with rules applying. Visit Fixed term contract employees.

See our Guide to starting a new job for more information on the different employment types.

Job advertisements

Job advertisements (ads) can't have pay rates that are less than an employee’s minimum pay rates and entitlements.

Find out more from our Job ads page.

If you see an ad that you think breaks the law, you can send us an anonymous tip-off. Go to Report an issue anonymously now.

Minimum pay rates

There are different minimum pay rates for different jobs that all employees have to be paid. As a guide, an employee who is 21 years and over should be getting paid at least $23.23 per hour or $29.04 if they don’t get paid leave. You can use our online Pay Calculator (Pay Calculator) to find out the minimum pay rates for different jobs.

The minimum pay rate is the gross pay (the amount of pay before tax is taken out). Employers have to take tax from an employee’s pay.

The Australian Taxation Office (Australian Taxation Office – ATO) gives advice and information about tax and superannuation (superannuation). For more information visit the ATO website.

Employees can be paid in cash, with a cheque or into a bank account. A pay slip has to be given for every payment.

Employees must be paid for the work they do. Watch our short video for a quick overview of pay.

It’s a good idea to keep your own records of the hours you work so you know your pay is right. You can download and use our free Record my hours app to do this. Watch our short video to find out more.

Sharing pay information at work

Employees have the right to share, or not share, information about their:

  • pay
  • employment terms and conditions.

Employers can’t take adverse action against an employee:

  • because of these rights, or
  • to prevent an existing or future employee from exercising these rights.

Adverse action is action taken that may be unlawful depending on the reason for the action. For example, dismissing an employee for sharing information about their pay.

Learn more on our Pay secrecy page.

Banning pay secrecy terms

Pay secrecy terms are rules in employment contracts, awards or agreements that prevent an employee or future employee from sharing information about their pay and employment conditions.

From different start dates, pay secrecy terms will be banned from being included in:

  • new employment contracts
  • existing employment contracts
  • new or existing awards or agreements.

Employers can’t take adverse action against an employee:

  • because of these rights, or
  • to prevent an existing or future employee from exercising these rights.

Adverse action is action taken that may be unlawful depending on the reason for the action. For example, dismissing an employee for sharing information about their pay.

Find out what applies now on our Pay secrecy page.

Unpaid Work

There are limited circumstances where a person doesn’t have to be paid for the work they do.

If an employee has to do training as part of their job, they have to be paid for those hours.

Find out when unpaid work is allowed on our unpaid work page.

If you’re still unsure whether the work should be paid or unpaid, call us or make an enquiry online.

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