Working

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A big milestone for many people is getting their first job, but with that comes the added responsibility of managing the income they’re now earning. Understanding work entitlements and getting into good money habits will help make the most of the opportunities that working presents.

Getting paid.

It’s important to understand how the amount you get paid by your employer is calculated.

  • For most casual or part-time jobs your pay will be calculated at an hourly rate. This rate will vary according to the days you work, with weekends, public holidays and late night or early shifts often attracting higher rates of pay, known as penalty rates.
  • For full-time work you’ll often get an agreed annual wage for a set number of hours of work. In this case, your pay won’t vary too much from week to week, unless you work additional hours.

Your payslip.

Every time you get paid by your employer, you should get a payslip. This is your record of the hours you worked, your hourly rate, and the gross (or whole) amount your employer paid. Then it should set out the amounts your employer has taken out for tax, the amount contributed to your superannuation, and the remaining amount paid to you (net pay). It’s a good idea to keep track of the hours you work and then to check your records against the payslip that your employer provides you with each pay.

There is an example of a payslip below.

Things to know about getting paid in Australia.

Pay As You Go (PAYG) deductions.

Paying some tax each pay period is known as Pay As You Go (PAYG) and removes the need to pay a larger lump sum at the end of the financial year.

Superannuation deductions.

Superannuation, widely known as ‘super’ is money saved from your pay now, to be used when you retire and are no longer earning an income. Your employer will need to pay your superannuation into a fund, so you will need to choose a fund and provide your employer with their details.

Tax File Number (TFN).

To keep track of your income and tax payments your employer will ask for your Tax File Number.

Fair and safe work places.

Employers in Australia are responsible by law to pay their workers fairly and provide a safe workplace. The minimum work conditions for each industry are set out in a regulation called an ‘Award’. Alternatively, your employer might have their own Enterprise Agreement. Further information on what should be shown on your payslip, working conditions and awards is available on the Fairwork Ombudsman’s website

This information is general in nature and has been prepared without taking your objectives, needs and overall financial situation into account. For this reason, you should consider the appropriateness for the information to your own circumstances and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.


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Whether you’re a budding business, dedicated community group or curious individual, our financial education resources are designed to help you feel more money confident. Powered by Westpac, the Davidson Institute is here to help you work towards the financial future you want.

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