You must be paid for all the time that you work. You must be paid ordinary rates, ‘flex up’ rates, penalty rates, loadings or overtime as appropriate to your circumstances. Under no circumstances should you ever work without pay.
There are many examples of employees working and not being paid, or not paid the correct overtime or penalty rate. These include:
- Working before a rostered shift commences
- Working through rest pauses or meal breaks
- ‘Clocking off’ and then going back to work
- Taking work home e.g. paperwork
- Working after the rostered finish time (e.g. 10 or 15 minutes) and not getting paid
- Coming in on a day off or while on leave, and not getting paid, and
- Being put on ‘trial’.
If any of these situations arise at your employer’s direction, you are entitled to be paid at the correct rate.
Penalty rates, allowances and entitlements
Often allowances may apply - and where this happens, you must be paid them correctly. To take the most common examples, your pay must include, where appropriate, penalty rates and allowances for working certain times and days; these penalties cover situations such as public holidays, Sundays, overtime and night shifts.
Casual employees also receive an additional loading on their rate of pay (typically between 20 to 25 per cent) in lieu of a range of entitlements, such as annual and sick leave, which permanent employees receive.
Pay, tax and superannuation
Enterprise Agreements and Awards contain specific provisions detailing employee entitlements, including when you must be paid - usually weekly or fortnightly, and on a regular day of the week (e.g. Thursday). Most wages are paid electronically, directly into your nominated bank account, but payment by cash or cheque is still permissible in some cases and you should still receive a payslip.
An employer may not make deductions from your pay without your written authorisation, subject to some exceptions in accordance with the law. As an employee, you must receive a payslip that details the hours worked, the rate of pay, total earnings, tax deducted, and other relevant information. Under law, employers must contribute to an eligible employee’s superannuation (super) account. For more details regarding your superannuation entitlements, please click here.