Saturday, 25 January 2014

How much should I be paid?

**This article is mostly relevant for Australian jobseeking readers only**

So you've looked for work, been to an interview and now to your greatest delight the employer has offered you the job; Or, you've seen a job advertised which includes the pay rate and you're not sure if you should apply because the amount seems a little low.

As part of your jobsearch it is essential that you carry out research on the industry, the position and employers. And that includes learning about the payment range.

Every July, the Australian government uses the inflation rate to set the new National Minimum Wage rate. To find out what that is, you should visit the Fair Work Australia website (if you click the link it will take you to that page now) and in the 'search' search bar type in national minimum wage. Go through the search results (the first result was the right page for me when I just did the search) and you will learn that for the period 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014, the minimum pay for an adult worker is $16.37 per hour for full and part time employees, and that Casuals receive a loading of 24% (to take into account not being paid annual and sick leave etc) so the rate is $20.30.

This is the LEAST amount the employer should be paying you.

BUT, before you just accept that rate, you should check to see if you will be covered by an industry Award.  Once again, using the Fair Work Australia website, you can either use the Award Finder feature which you will find under the second tab, or call Fair Work Australia on 13 13 94 (expect to be on hold for a long while though) to have one of their trained staff ask you a series of questions so they can work out the award for you - you can even obtain a Reference number which you can use for subsequent calls related to this enquiry later if you need to. (As an Employment Consultant, we contacted Fair Work every time one of our clients was successful in gaining the job they found their own self or that we placed them into).

The Award will tell you how much annual and sick leave you are entitled to and other terms and conditions for the type of work you do.

Never accept any role that does not pay you at or above your award.  If your industry does not have an award, then you are automatically protected by the National Minimum Standards.

Be very wary of any employer who does not offer the correct pay rate and conditions - no matter how long you have been out of work, it is not worth missing out on what you are entitled to!

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