Understanding Employment Norms in Australia: A Comprehensive Guide
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Hiring in Australia? Read on to find out the employment norms (like taxes, payroll and benefits) and EOR (Employer on Record) norms in Australia.

Employment Norms in Australia

Australia is the smallest continent in the world. It is also one of the largest countries in terms of area. The country's economy largely depends on agriculture.
The liberal employment norms in Australia allow the growth of businesses. International Labor Organizations guide the labor laws here. The Fair Labor Act of 2009 and the Australian Constitution are the primary law associated with the employment norms in the country. It protects employees from any discrimination and harassment at the workplace. It also provides all the necessary benefits to employees.

General Information:

  • The Australian currency is Australian Dollar (AUD).
  • Canberra is the capital of Australia.
  • English is the official language of Australia. Documentation can be in the English language. Translation of documents can be requested in any other language.
  • As of 2022, the GDP of Australia was reported to be 1571.00 Billion USD.
The Fair Labor Laws in Australia offer social and health benefits to employees. It regulates the minimum wage, work hours, overtime, leaves, and other norms.
Australia map

Table of Contents

  • Agreements
  • Onboarding Process
  • Visa
  • Minimum Wage
  • Payroll Cycle
  • Annual Bonus
  • Health Benefits
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Leaves
  • Social Security
  • Taxes for Employers
  • Taxes for Employees
  • Probation
  • Termination
  • Severance Pay
  • Employees or Contractors
  • Final Words


  • The Fair Labor Act regulates employment agreements in Australia.
  • It must be well-written with all the necessary employment information. Conditions like termination, duty, employment length, and rights should be mentioned.
  • There are two types of contracts in Australia: definite or fixed contracts and indefinite or open-ended contracts.
  • Indefinite or open-ended contract - A contract with no fixed end date is called an indefinite contract. It is mutually agreed upon and can be terminated by both parties. An employee can terminate the contract without stating a specific reason. The employer has to state a valid reason for termination. This includes permanent and full-time employees.
  • Definite or fixed-term contract - A contract that ends on a fixed date is called a fixed-term contract. This type of contract is for a distinct kind of work. It includes full-time, part-time, contractual, and short-term employees.
Onboarding Process

Onboarding Process

The onboarding process in Australia is just like any other country. However, it may take a few days to complete.
  • The company will collaborate with its HR team if there is a job vacancy. A job description is prepared, which has details about the job.
  • Once the appropriate description is prepared, it is uploaded on the company's official sites and other platforms.
  • The employer may choose to publish the vacancy in local newspapers and magazines.
  • Candidates submit their applications by verifying their eligibility criteria.
  • The HR team shortlists candidates on the given criteria and rounds of assessments.
  • Final shortlisted candidates can negotiate with the employer regarding the job. Once both parties reach an agreement, the candidate is hired as an employee.


Australia has several types of visas. However, they are broadly categorized into short-term and long-term visas. These are:
  • Short-term Visa - It is issued for a stay of up to 3 months. This type of visa is valid for 1 year from the date of issue. It grants multiple entries. It is issued for visiting, family reunions, business invites, etc.
  • Long-term Visa - It is generally issued for stays longer than 3 months. It is granted to students, employees, and others who intend to stay longer.
There are two types of work permits in Australia:
  • Temporary residence with work rights - It is granted for a duration of up to 4 years. The employer mainly sponsors it.
  • Working holiday maker - This visa is granted to students or youngsters between the age of 18 to 24. It can allow taking part-time jobs during holidays.

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Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

The Fair Labor Act settles the minimum wage in Australia. It is given around 3090 AUD per month. An employee is entitled to a minimum of 21.40 AUD per hour.
Payroll Cycle

Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle in Australia is usually given monthly. There are legal provisions for getting a daily and weekly payroll as well.
Annual Bonus

Annual Bonus

There are no mandatory provisions for giving a 13th salary in Australia. The annual bonus in Australia is largely dependent on the employer. Employees may get a bonus based on their performance.
Health Benefits

Health Benefits

  • The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 oversees the health and work benefits at the workplace. It ensures healthy working conditions for employees.
  • The act also checks the basic health and medical facilities given to employees.
  • The Australian government is responsible for providing health insurance to employees.
Working Hours and Overtime

Working Hours and Overtime

  • Work hours: The regular work hours in Australia are 7.6 hours per day. An employee has to work 38 hours per week. The working week is from Monday to Friday.
  • Break: An employee is entitled to 20 or 30 minutes of unpaid break time during work hours per day. Employees must get a rest period of 8 to 10 hours per day between continuous work.
  • Overtime: Overtime in Australia depends on the mutual agreement between employer and employees. The payment is granted per the mutual agreement.


Sick Leaves

  • Every employee is entitled to 10 days of paid sick leave in Australia. It is 100% paid leave given by the employer.

Maternity leaves

  • A pregnant female employee is entitled to 18 weeks of paid maternity leaves in Australia.
  • The mother is given the minimum wage fixed by the law during this leave.
  • This leave is covered under the social security fund.

Paternity leaves

  • A male employee who became a father is entitled to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave in Australia.
  • This leave is covered under the social security fund.

Annual Leaves

An employee is entitled to 20 days of paid annual leave in Australia. This leave is covered under the social security fund.

Other leaves

  • Jury Duty leave - All types of employees are given 10 days of jury duty leave. The payment is covered by the state government.
  • Compassionate leave - Employees in Australia are given 2 days of paid leave if an immediate family member dies or is gravely ill.
  • Long service leaves - Employees are entitled to take a leave after working longer for the same employer. This leave depends on the state and state-wise laws on how long the leave should be.
  • Personal leave - Employees can avail of 10 days of personal leave per year.

Public Holidays (for the Calendar year 2023)

  • New Year's Day - January 1
  • Additional public holiday for New Year's Day - January 2
  • Australia Day - January 26
  • Good Friday - April 7
  • Easter Monday - April 10
  • Anzac Day - April 25
  • Christmas Day - December 25
  • Boxing Day - December 26

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Social Security

Social Security

The government and employers contribute to social security in Australia. An employee is entitled to get maternity, paternity, and other benefits under this fund.
  • The employee has to contribute about 10% towards social security.
  • An employee has to contribute 10.5% towards superannuation. It is a compulsory tax.
Taxes for Employers

Taxes for Employers

Employers in Australia have to pay taxes to the government. These taxes vary according to the states in Australia.
  • Tax in Victoria - An employer has to pay the following taxes
    • State payroll tax: 4.85%
    • Regional areas: 2.425%
    • Regional bushfire-affected areas: 1.2125%
  • Taxes in New South Wales - State payroll tax: 4.85%
  • Taxes in Queensland -
    • For employers with $6.5 million or less taxable income: 4.75%
    • For employers with more than $6.5 million in taxable income: 4.95%
  • Taxes in Northern Australia - State payroll tax: 5.5%
  • Taxes in South Australia -
    • Between 1.5 million-1.7 million AUD taxable wages: Variable up to 4.95%
    • State payroll tax where taxable wages exceed 1.7 million AUD: 4.95% - s

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Taxes for Employees

Taxes for Employees

Every employee has to pay income taxes in Australia. The income tax ranges from 19% to 45%. The taxes are levied as follows:
  • Income below AUD 18,200 - 0%
  • Income above AUD 18,200 - 19%
  • Income above AUD 45,000 - 32.5%
  • Income above AUD 120,000 - 37%
  • Income above AUD 180,000 and over - 45%


The Probationary period in Australia can vary from employer to employer. It can be of few weeks or a few months. There is no fixed duration.

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  • Termination of employment in Australia is a lengthy process. The employer has to state a valid reason for termination.
  • The employer must provide notice before terminating an employee. The notice period depends on the tenure of work of an employee. It may range from 1 week to 4 weeks.
  • An employee does not need to state the reason for resigning.
Severance Pay

Severance Pay

An employee is entitled to severance pay in Australia. It depends entirely on the tenure of the employee. An employee with over 1-year of work tenure gets 4 weeks of salary as severance pay.
Employees or Contractors

Employees or Contractors

  • A person who works for a company and gets paid is called an employee.
  • An organization or company that hires employees is the employer.
  • There are two types of recognized employment in Australia- employees and self-employees.
  • A penalty is imposed if an employer is found guilty of an employee's misclassification.
  • The employer has to pay all legal benefits to such a misclassified employee.
  • The employer has to pay all taxes and other contributions on behalf of the employee.
Final Words

Final Words

Australia is the smallest continent. It has flexible labor laws along with smart work enforcement. This makes it a suitable choice for growing a business. The Australian labor law protects its employees from harassment and discrimination in the workplace. It is a perfect country in the southern hemisphere to grow business outreach.

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