How you can find out about wages and pay levels
Pay rates for many employees changed on 1 July 2010 - where their modern award has transitional arrangements. Pay rates (including loadings and penalties) under these modern awards will continue to change as the modern award rates of pay are phased in over a period of four years.
Your boss has to pay you under an Award.
From 1 January 2010, modern awards cover most workplaces. Modern awards were created to establish one set of minimum conditions for employers and employees across Australia who work in the same industries or occupations.
Modern awards do not apply to an employer who is bound by an enterprise award. An enterprise award regulates the terms and conditions of employment only in the single business specified in that award.
Your Award will cover:
base rates of pay, including piecework rates
types of employment (e.g. full-time, part-time, casual)
overtime and penalty rates
work arrangements (e.g. rosters, variations to working hours)
annualised wage or salary arrangements
allowances (e.g. travel allowances)
leave, leave loading and taking leave
procedures for consultation, representation and dispute settlement
an industry-specific redundancy scheme.
Modern awards must also include a procedure for settling disputes about matters covered by the award or the National Employment Standards.
You’ll find your Award listed on your Training Contract or you could look at http://www.fairwork.gov.au/awards/pages/default.aspx
How do you check to see if you really are being paid the right amount?
After 1 July 2010, modern awards were introduced and are being phased in over a period of four years until the full modern award rates apply on 1 July 2014.
In this period pay rates need to be calculated with reference to the pre-modern award entitlement that used to cover, or would have covered, the employee before 1 January 2010 as well as the relevant modern award entitlement.
The FairWork Ombudsman’s website has a handy tool called PayCheck. It lets you calculate the base rates of pay for a particular job. It takes into account the modern award classification and the corresponding pre-modern award classification and automatically factors in changes resulting from Fair Work Australia’s annual wage review.
PayCheck is a simple search tool that will give you a base rate of pay for your job. Just go to
or ring Fair Work Infoline as part of the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.
Will you be paid for the time you spend undertaking supervised training?
Yes you will. Supervised training is commonly referred to as on or off-the-job training delivered by your training organisation. Under the requirements of the training contract, all employers must release their apprentice or trainee from work and pay the appropriate wage to attend any off-the-job training (including assessment) as provided for in the training plan.
Please note that school-based apprentices and trainees may not be paid for this time with the training organisation. Contact Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 to find out more about this.
Further financial support that may be available for you
While there are some costs involved in completing an apprenticeship or traineeship, financial support may be available to help with these costs.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has put together a webinar and video on helping organise finances for getting a car and moving out of home. Check out https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/life-events-and-you/under-25s