Wages and Conditions

Most awards have special coverage for apprentices and trainees. Your employer should pay you at least the minimum rate shown in your award or agreement. Depending on your age, you may be paid a junior rate.

Overtime and weekend penalty rates

If overtime or weekend work is required, you should be aware of the conditions. Ask your employer:

  • What counts as overtime?
  • What will my rate of overtime pay be?
  • Should I be receiving penalty rates for working overtime (time and a half or double time)?
  • Do penalty rates apply for weekend or late night work?

Use the FairWork pay calculator to calculate base pay rates, allowances and penalty rates (including overtime).

Payroll folder in office

Conditions of payment

You should be paid for all the hours you work including team and individual meetings at your employer's request, opening and closing the business, training sessions, days travelling during work hours for your job, and compulsory attendance at a function.

You should be paid on a set day, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. You must receive a pay slip from your employer within one day of being paid so you know what you’re being paid for. View more information on the FairWork apprentice and trainee pay rates.


If you’re 18 or older and you earn $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month, your employer must make superannuation contributions on your behalf. If you’re under 18 and you earn $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month and you work more than 30 hours in a week, your employer must make superannuation contributions on your behalf. Use the Estimate my super tool on the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to estimate how much super guarantee your employer should have paid for you.

For more information call the ATO Superannuation infoline on 13 10 20 (08:00am to 18:00pm - local time - Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

Salaries and Employees folders in office

Deductions from pay

Your employer shouldn’t deduct anything from your wages unless the law requires it or you’ve agreed in writing. The deduction must be for your benefit. If you’re under 18, your parent or guardian must also agree to the deduction in writing.


Check your Award or Agreement to find out what your rest and meal breaks are. Most employees are entitled to at least a 30 minute break after five hours of work. You can find information about the minimum break requirements in your industry.

Public Holidays and Leave

If you’re required to work on a public holiday, you’re generally entitled to penalty rates. This may vary according to your Award or Agreement and employment type (full time or part time). You can say no to working on a public holiday if you have reasonable grounds. This depends on the type of work you do, whether you get extra pay for working on public holidays, how much notice you’re given, and your reasons for refusing (i.e. family responsibilities).

Full time and part time workers get 4 weeks of annual leave, based on their ordinary hours of work. View how annual leave accumulates and payment for annual leave.

An employee can take paid sick leave when they can't work because of personal illness or injury. Use the Leave Calculator to calculate sick and carer's leave entitlements.

Hours of Work

Your hours of work will depend on your industry and the Award or Agreement you work under. There may be minimum hours that you’ll be required to work. If you work hours outside of your agreed hours, you may be entitled to overtime.

Training and fees

Some Awards contain the same entitlements for time spent at training and reimbursement of training costs, fees and textbooks. You can check what apprentice or trainee entitlements apply to you.

If you're a full time apprentice or trainee and an Australian resident, you should contact Centrelink to see if you are eligible to apply for Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY.

If you're under 22 years of age and assessed as having a partial capacity to work, you should contact Centrelink to see if you are eligible for a Youth Disability Supplement.

Training and Development folder in office

If you get sick or have a short term illness that means you can't work or study, you should call Centrelink to discuss your options.

You may be entitled to get certain payments from Centrelink for Rent Assistance or a Low Income Health Care Card.

You can apply online at the Australian Government of Human Services to see if you are eligible for any assistance.


  • For confidential advice and support contact your local Training Services NSW centre directly or phone 13 28 11 to be directed to your nearest office.
Page last updated: 01 July 2018