The pay and conditions for many employees are in their enterprise agreement or award. A 'safety net’ also gives certain employees a minimum wage and other benefits. Employers must give their employees at least their minimum entitlements.
On this page:
Help with your pay or conditions
If you believe you are not getting the right pay, or you don’t understand your award or agreement, you can ask for help from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Conditions in an enterprise agreement
Enterprise agreements usually set the minimum pay and conditions for the employees they cover. For example:
- wage rates
- employment conditions, such as hours of work, meal breaks, overtime
- a consultation process
- the process to follow if there is a dispute about the agreement
- deductions from wages for any purpose authorised by an employee.
Find an agreement that covers you or your business.
Understand more about agreements, including what they are and how they are made, in the Agreements section.
Conditions in an award
An award (‘modern award’) probably sets your pay and conditions if you don't have an enterprise agreement. These include:
- minimum wage rates
- annual leave, and annual leave loading
- other types of leave
- hours of work
- penalty rates, overtime and casual rates
To view an award:
- find an award, if you know which one covers your industry
- if you don’t know which award is relevant, the Fair Work Ombudsman can help you find the right award.
To understand how we create, change or revoke awards, see the Awards section.
Conditions in the safety net
Employees who are part of the national system have a ‘safety net’. This has 2 parts and gives them a minimum wage and other benefits.
The minimum wage
The minimum wage is the first part of the safety net for employees in the national system.
The minimum wage is relevant to:
- employees who are covered by an award or agreement
- employees who are ‘award free’ but have an employment contract with their employer.
An employee must receive at least the minimum wage, even if they have an award or agreement.
The conditions in the National Employment Standards
The second part of the safety net is the National Employment Standards. These 11 standards contain the minimum terms and conditions for employees in the national workplace relations system.
An employee cannot receive less than the National Employment Standards, even if they have an award or agreement.