Working fair (Part 1)

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 you are entitled to 10 minimum entitlements, wherever you work

If you're looking for your first job soon, or your first for a long while, there's a few things you should know to ensure you're aware of your rights and obligations at work. This is a basic guide to get you started in keeping with Fair Work principles.

Make sure you know whether you'll be employed as a casual, permanent part-time or full-time worker as this affects the terms and conditions of your employment. Some benefits, such as holiday pay and long service leave do not apply to casual workers, but they do to full-time and permanent part-time employees.

Before or upon starting make sure you complete a tax declaration form. If your employer does not provide you with this form you can obtain one from Australia Post or the Australian Taxation Office.

Other details you may need to provide (so have them ready) are:

  • emergency contact details
  • superannuation fund details (if you're not going to use an industry fund)
  • tax file number (often you can get this while still at school or TAFE)
  • bank details including your bank account number for your pay
  • your date of birth (or birth certificate particularly if under 21)
  • your parent or guardian's contact details if you are under 18.
  • Under the Fair Work Act 2009 you are entitled to 10 minimum entitlements, wherever you work. These entitlements take in things like employer provided superannuation (more about that in next week's post), maximum working hours, annual leave, carer's or personal leave, community service leave, long service leave, public holidays and minimum notice in the event of termination of employment.

    If you are new to the workforce you must be provided with an information statement concerning the terms and conditions of your employment (the Fair Work Information Statement).

    As a casual employee you do not normally have guaranteed hours of work each week and may be called to work at short notice. However, you will normally be paid a casual loading instead of getting many of the permanent employee entitlements, like holiday pay and sick leave.

    Make sure you know what's happening with meal breaks so you don't do the wrong thing. Most employees are entitled to at least a 30 minute unpaid break after five hours.

    Next week we look at pay, superannuation and dismissal.

    This is part 1 of a post that was originally published on TAFEnow on 26 July 2013. TAFEnow is an Australia-wide online provider, operating out of North Coast TAFE, one of the 10 TAFE NSW Institutes. Enquiries can be directed to