Your work rights explained

As an international student working in Australia, you have the same protections as any Australian in the workplace.

Work-while-you-study

Australia's workplace laws and regulations protect the rights of all workers, including international students working part-time on a student visa. These laws are designed to ensure you:

  • are paid at least the minimum wage and superannuation;
  • are protected against unfair dismissal;
  • are entitled to leave, breaks and rest periods;
  • and have a safe and healthy work environment.

Download the fact sheet and checklist (PDF 304.2KB) to help you get ready to work while you study.

As an international student working in Australia, you have the same protections as any Australian in the workplace. Here are some things you need to know.

  • Your pay: Australia has a minimum wage. You must be paid at least this amount – it’s the law!
  • Paying tax: If you’re working in Australia, you might need to pay tax depending on how much you earn. Get a Tax File Number (TFN) before starting work. Give your TFN to your boss to make sure you do not pay more tax than you should. Only apply for a TFN once – it is yours for life!
  • Payslips: In Australia, you must get a payslip within one working day of getting paid. Normally, workers get paid weekly, fortnightly (every two weeks) or monthly. The payslip is an important document.
  • Work hours: Remember – as an international student you can work up to 40 hours every two weeks during term time, and unlimited hours during your holiday breaks. It is important you keep to this limit – it is what you agreed to when you were given your student visa.
  • Casual work: In Australia, you will find many casual roles. In casual work, you don’t have a fixed number of hours every week. This means you can manage your own time better.
  • Tax File Number: You need a Tax File Number (TFN) to work in Australia. Apply at the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Superannuation: As a temporary resident working in Australia, your employer must, by law, make superannuation contributions for you if you are eligible. When leaving Australia, you may be able to get back your superannuation payment (DASP) if you meet the requirements. Find out more at the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Workers' Compensation: Australian law means your employer must have insurance which protects you in case you are hurt or get sick at work. If this happens, the insurance (called Workers' Compensation) may pay for your medical treatment or your wages until you can work again.

Find out more about the role of the Australian Government's Fair Work Ombudsman in helping protect your rights.


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