Salary & wages
Fair Work Australia (new window) sets the minimum wage rates, which establish the minimum amount that people must legally be paid for different kinds of jobs.
Fair Work Australia sets wages across award classifications levels for:
- Juniors (i.e., workers under 18)
- Apprentices and trainees
- Employees with disabilities
It will also set loadings for casual workers.
Fair Work Australia is required to set wages at or above the level of the current minimum wage.
It's okay to be paid higher than the minimum rate set, but sometimes employers pay less. This is unlawful.
Things affecting how much you're paid
Things that affect how much you get paid include:
- Your industry
- Your age
- If you are a trainee or apprentice
- Whether the job is full time, part-time, permanent or casual
- How much other people get paid to do the same job
- Your level of seniority, experience, qualifications, responsibilities and what you do
- The job market - e.g. the number of qualified people looking for the job
- Government awards, agreements or industrial laws relevant to the job
Just because you are young and eager to work doesn't mean that an employer can take advantage of you and pay you less than you deserve. Before discussing pay with an employer, you can do some research to find out what you should be paid.
To find out more about awards, which set the conditions of your job, including pay rates and how much leave you get, check out Fair Work Australia's Awards pages (new window).
Check out our Getting paid the right amount page for more information on minimum wages.
Before starting a new job, there are things you should know about getting paid, including how often you will be paid, how you will receive your pay, and the kind of information your employer should provide about your wages.
When should I be paid?
Most employees are paid monthly, fortnightly or weekly. If you're covered by a federal award or agreement it may state the minimum pay periods. Before you start a job always ask the specific question: How frequently will I be paid?
How should I be paid?
Usually Victorian employees are paid by one of three methods:
- Electronic funds transfer (pay deposited electronically in your bank account)
An award or agreement often says how an employee must be paid. Employers have to pay the correct rate and cannot pay an employee 'in kind' (i.e., they can't give you goods and services instead of wages).
You must receive a payslip each time you are paid. Your payslip may be electronic or it may be printed out and given to you.
In Victoria payslips must show:
- Payment date
- Payment period
- Number of hours/days you worked in the period
- Your gross pay (before tax) and the amount you were actually paid
- All deductions made from your gross pay
- Any superannuation payments made on your behalf
If you're covered by a federal award, agreement or Australian Workplace Agreement (AWA), more information than the above must be included. For more information on what information should be included in such situations, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman (new window) or your union.
You should also contact the Fair Work Ombudsman or your union if you have never received payslips, if your payslips are incorrect or if they don't provide the above information.
More information about the conditions of your job, including pay rates and how much leave you get, can be found at Fair Work Australia's Awards pages (new window).
It's normal to feel awkward about raising the subject of pay when applying for a job or asking for a raise, but don't let your feelings of awkwardness stop you from asking that kind of question.
Check out our page on Negotiating pay for further information.
Superannuation ("super") is calculated based on your gross rate of pay. When your pay goes up, your employer's super contribution should also go up.
If your employer is not paying their super contribution at the correct rate, or if they're not paying it at all, contact your super fund or the Super Helpline on 131 020.
There's also more info on our Superannuation page.
A tax declaration gives your employer permission to take income tax from your wages and pay it to the tax office. Find out more on our Tax page.
If an employer deducts money from your wages without your prior written consent, this is an illegal deduction. If you are concerned about any illegal deductions from your wages, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman (new window) or your union.
Fair Work Ombudsman
Gives advice and helps people understand their workplace rights and responsibilities
Statewide community legal centre specialising in issues for workers in Victoria, and offering free and confidential advice
ACTU Worksite for Schools
The Australian Council of Trade Unions provide lots of introductory information about the world of work