Australia

CURRENCY
AUD

FISCAL YEAR
1st July – 30th June

MIN. WAGE
See below

WORKING CONDITIONS
See conditions below

PAY FREQUENCY
At least monthly (see below)

Employment & Payroll

The 2009 Fair Work Act provided a minimum set of conditions of employment through the National Employment Standards. Under the National Employment Standards (NES), all employees, with the exception of casual employees, are entitled to paid annual leave, public holidays and notice of employment termination.

Employees must be paid at least monthly via EFT or bank transfer. Most awards, enterprise agreements or registered agreements will set out when employees must be paid. If it doesn’t, employees must be paid monthly.

Minimum Wage

The national minimum wage is currently $17.70 per hour or $672.70 per 38 hour week (before tax). Casual employees covered by the national minimum wage also get at least a 25 per cent casual loading.

HR & Labour

The maximum working week is 38 hours for full time employees. Overtime is defined differently under each award and employment agreement. Typically, overtime is paid at a higher hourly rate than pay, for example, time and a half.

Immigration

Young people who are travelling and wish to spend up to 12 months working in the country may do so on a working holiday maker visa and there are student visas available for those who wish to study at an Australian university. Temporary work visas are available for those who want to spend a fixed period of time working in the country. A temporary residence visa can be applied for if the individual is hoping to live and work in Australia for a short period to time. Those who are travelling as a religious worker, a domestic worker such as a nanny or au pair, a sportsman or an academic on a short contract at a university will apply under this category. Anybody applying under this category must be sponsored by an employer. For those who are planning on living and working in Australia for a longer period of time, there is the Skilled Migration Visa. These are issued at the discretion of the Australian Immigration department. In order to be eligible for one of these visas you need to be assessed on the points system. A visitor visa in Australia is granted to those entering the country for tourism, family visits and business activities. Under a visitor visa, individuals are not permitted to perform work; however they are allowed to attend meetings, conferences or seminars, contract negotiations or make general employment inquiries.

Superannuation Fund

Employers have to pay superannuation contributions of 9.5%  of an employee’s ordinary time earnings if:
When an employee is paid $450 or more before tax in a month and is over 18 years, or under 18 years and works over 30 hours a week. This applies to full-time and part-time employees and some casual employees. Superannuation has to be paid at least every 3 months into the employees nominates superannuation account.

Leave Entitlements

  1. Annual Leave
    Employees in Australia, with the exception of casual employees, are covered under the NES. According to the NES, employees are entitled to four weeks* paid leave for each year of service. Annual leave does not accumulate when a worker is on unpaid vacation leave, unpaid sick/carers leave or unpaid parental leave.
  2. Personal Leave
    Personal leave is to care for members of the employee’s immediate family or recover from illness. National Employment Standards state that an employee accrues 10 days Personal/Carer’s Leave (formerly sick leave) every 12 months. The accrual is incremental and based on hours worked. For an employee how works 38 hour a week, there is an accrual of 1.46 hours per week. The entitlement cannot be capped.
  3. Maternity Leave
    For statutory maternity leave, employees may take up to 52 weeks of parental leave in one unbroken period. Length of Absence is usually 12 months (with the optional provision of an additional 12 months) and employees are eligible after 12 months of continuous service before the date or expected date of birth if the employee is pregnant

Terminations

The most common reasons employment ends are:

  • Resignation
  • Redundancy
  • Termination or Dismissal

You must give notice to an employee when ending their employment and pay out their leave entitlements, outstanding wages , redundancy pay.

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