Role of the Fair Work Ombudsman

The office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is an independent government agency. It helps employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under Australian workplace laws.

Get to know the FWO

The office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is an independent government agency. It helps employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities underAustralian workplace laws. It also works with you to resolve workplace issues. All its services are free!

What the FWO can do for you

The FWO is here to listen and to help. It can:

  • give you accurate information on your work rights including rates of pay
  • offer advice and support on workplace issues
  • help you resolve workplace issues.
  • Refer to the FWO's fact sheet for more information on how they can help you.

The FWO helps international students

International students have the same work rights as all workers in Australia. The FWO gives advice and support to all workers in Australia, including international students. It is safe for you to reach out to the FWO if you need help. 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 at

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

If you want, 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.

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

How to contact the FWO
It’s easy! Just call 13 13 94 or visit their website at

Helpful resources and links

Visit for more information on working in Australia as an international student.

Download the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) (PDF 727KB) flyer to learn how they can support you with any concerns about your workplace rights.

Watch this short video on working in Australia. It’s available in many languages.

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 also available in 18 different languages.

Download the Record my Hours app at

Use the PACT Calculator (Pay and Conditions Tool) to find your correct pay rate and other entitlements at work.

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