Working in Australia is a dream for many international students who come to the country each year to get trained in their desired skills. At the same time when job seekers are on the hunt for jobs, there have been many cases where workers have been found to be working at much lower wages than set as minimum criteria in Australia. There are several things that you need to know about the minimum wage criteria in Australia and what you need to take care of.
The minimum wages in Australia has been set up as $18.29 per hour, which is around 695 dollars per week, before deducting tax. Even in a situation where the employee agrees to work at a lower wage than this, he cannot be paid a lower amount than the minimum wage.
In general, international students are at a far larger risk of being underpaid. Experts say that the underpayment issues are widespread amongst backpackers and international students. Industries like hospitality and vegetable picking are severely suffering. A study by the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney stated that one out of every three international students is paid about half of the legal minimum wage, being forced to work in conditions that can amount to criminal forced labor. Talking about the situation nationality wise, workers from China, Taiwan, and Vietnam receive much lower wages than North America, Ireland, and the UK
Overtime includes any work that you are putting in out of your regular and agreed to work hours. There is always a premium that is set up over and above your normal wages for the pay for overtime. This is for settlement of non-availability of benefits like annual leaves, putting in longer working hours etc…
By rule, as a casual worker, one gets a premium of 25% on the extra working hours put in. This premium can also get affected by the declaration of some award based on specific industries. Working on a weekend or on a public holiday is also eligible for an overtime premium. See the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website for more details.
You can also check whether you are being paid the right amount by going to fair pay calculator by Fair Work Ombudsman. By using this you can assess if you are being paid the right amount for the work you are doing.
Getting help regarding Fair Pay
The first thing to note about getting help regarding fair pay in Australia is that making a complaint or inquiry will not put your visa at the risk of being revoked. The Fair Work Ombudsman makes sure that everything is done in a proper manner and nothing backfires.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s website contains a lot of information that can come in handy while learning about the fair pay in Australia. These are available in 40 different languages as well.
You can also talk to helpers directly by calling at 13 13 94. Translators are available if needed.
If you wish to report about a situation anonymously, you can do it here.