Get Yourself FinLit

Getting The Right Wage

When you’re young, sometimes getting a job can be a total minefield. When you’re job hunting with close to zero experience, it’s normal to want to take the first job you can get your hands on, without considering whether the offer or pay is the correct amount.

In Australia we have minimum wages, benefits and conditions that an employer has to follow. If you suspect that your employer maybe isn’t paying you what you deserve, offering you all your benefits or providing the right working conditions, then you shouldn’t stand for it.

Working Out What You Should Be Getting Paid

It’s not hard to figure out what wage you should be receiving – you don’t even have to talk to your boss to find out. All you gotta do is hop on to Fair Work Ombudsman and check out their pay calculator, which will work out what your award should be. Your award is what outlines your industry’s minimum wages, penalty rates and employment conditions, and is what your employer legally must abide by when deciding your wages.

Just fill out your deets (you should be able to find some of them on your payslip) into the pay calculator to find out your award wage. If you don’t know your exact title or level of employment, there are little drop down menus along the way that will describe the kinds of roles you might be expected to complete in each position to help you decide.

At the end, the calculator will spit out what you should be getting paid, including penalty rates if applicable. If you’re currently getting paid this rate or more, then you should be sweet. If, however, you’re getting getting paid less than the award wage…

What To Do If You’re Being Underpaid

It sucks when you find out you’re being ripped off, but there are a two ways you can tackle the problem to ensure it doesn’t go on for any longer.

    1. Chat to your boss. Before you go pointing fingers, trash talking your boss, or flipping tables and yelling “I QUIT!” across the office floor – stop. Give your boss the benefit of the doubt, they might not know they’ve been underpaying you. Just calmly sit them down and point out the problem and they might fix it right away. There is a process for back-paying employees who have been underpaid, which you can read about here.

    2. Talk to Fair Work Ombudsman. If your boss still refuses to change their ways, then it’s time for phase two: talk to Fair Work. You can lodge a concern anonymously against your workplace, or you can chat to an advisor by submitting an online enquiry or give them a buzz.

If You’re Being Mistreated In The Workplace

So you might be getting paid the right amount, but that doesn’t mean your employer is treating you the way they should. Whatever it is – bullying, being overworked, working in unsafe conditions or getting dismissed unfairly – you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman about any of it. Visit this site to best decide what you need to do and who you need to talk to.

This information is intended to be general in nature only and might not apply to your personal circumstances. It does not constitute tax advice and cannot be relied upon as such. When it doubt, always seek professional guidance.

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