Your rights at work
Australia has laws protecting workers. These govern and guide what employers should pay and the type of working conditions you should be given as an employee (hours, break times, occupational health and safety requirements, and leave entitlements).
Migrant workers and visa holders, including international students, have the same workplace rights as all other workers in Australia.
Ensure you are protected at work
When you accept a job offer there are some things you and your employer should be clear on, including:
- your agreed pay rate
- your job duties
- your employment status (e.g. full-time, part-time or casual work)
- what time you’ll be starting and finishing work
- how many hours you’ll be working per week
- whether there’s an award or registered agreement covering your job.
When applying for and accepting a job you should do research and know how much pay you are entitled to. Visit FairWork Australia for information on pay rates, minimum wages and allowances. If you are under 21 then you are entitled to junior wages. This is a sliding scale and differs for each industry.
In Australia employers are not allowed by law to discriminate or harass staff in relation to:
- political beliefs
- sexual orientation
- carer or parental status
- physical features.
If you face any form of discrimination or harassment in the workplace call the Fair Work Infoline 13 13 94. If you would prefer to speak in your own language, call 13 14 50 and nominate your preferred language.
Choosing to share a disability
You have no legal obligation to share information about your disability to a potential employer or once you are in the workplace, although discussing your accessibility requirements may be practical and beneficial in certain situations. For example, for safety reasons or if workplace modifications would be useful. The choice to declare is yours and will depend on your individual circumstances.
If you are injured while at work, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation. To find out more contact the relevant Safe Work organisation in your state or territory.
Your Tax File Number (TFN)
A Tax File Number (TFN) is a unique number issued to you by the Australian Taxation Office. You need this form of identification to work in Australia.
It’s not compulsory to give your TFN to an employer. However, we recommend it, because without one you will pay too much tax.
A TFN also makes it easier to:
- start or change jobs
- make tax enquiries
- lodge an income tax return
- limit the tax you pay if you have investments.
Your TFN is valuable. Don’t share it with friends and don’t provide it on the internet when applying for work. Keep it secure.