Get help from the Fair Work Ombudsman

Understand your rights and responsibilities under Australian workplace laws.

Get to know the FWO

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is an independent Australian Government agency. It helps employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under Australian workplace laws. The FWO can help resolve workplace issues. It is safe and free for you if you need help.

What the FWO can do for you

The FWO can:

  • give you accurate information on your work rights including rates of pay
  • offer advice and support on workplace issues, and
  • help you resolve workplace issues.

How the FWO helps international students

The FWO gives advice and support to all workers in Australia, including international students. You can get general advice from the FWO or report issues without giving your name, for example, by using the FWO's anonymous reporting tool.

Language is not a problem when contacting the FWO. You can access their services in different languages – all for free.

You won’t lose your visa by talking to the FWO

Your employer can't cancel your visa. Only the Department of Home Affairs can grant, refuse or cancel visas. 

It’s not FWO’s role to check your visa. If you have breached your visa (for example, by working too many hours), you can still get help from FWO. In these situations, the Department of Home Affairs usually won't cancel your visa under the Assurance protocol.

If you agree, the FWO can also share your information with the Department of Home Affairs, who generally won’t cancel your visa if there is evidence your workplace rights have been breached.

Helpful resources and links

  • Visit the international student page on the FWO website for more information on working in Australia as an international student.
  • Download the free Record my Hours app to keep track of your working hours. You can also keep other work-related information such as your roster using the app. This app is available in 18 different languages.
  • Use the PACT Calculator (Pay and Conditions Tool) to find your correct pay rate and other entitlements at work.

You can also watch this helpful, short video on working in Australia. It’s available in other languages.