Work Regulations in Australia

It is essential that you are aware of the Work Regulations in Australia as they can be very different from those in your home country.

Work Rights

  • You can work 40 hours per fortnight while your course is in session and unlimited hours when course is not in session (i.e. break times). Visit our working while studying page for more information about working hours allowed.
  • Work that is a formal registered part of your course is not included in the limit of 40 hours per fortnight.
  • A fortnight means a period of 14 days commencing on any Monday and ending on the second following Sunday. For further clarification, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs webpage on work rights.
  • Postgraduate Research students have unlimited work rights once their course has commenced.
  • Dependents can work up to 40 hours per fortnight, at all times. Only dependents of students doing a masters or doctorate degree may work unlimited hours.
  • You must obtain a Tax File Number (TFN) to work in Australia.
  • If you want to work as a contractor you will need an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Work Regulations

  • The current minimum wage in Australia is $18.93 per hour.
  • Casual work is paid hourly, without holiday or sick pay and work times may vary.
  • Superannuation (retirement fund) of 9.5% is paid by your employer directly to your superannuation fund if you earn a minimum of $450 in a calendar month. It is compulsory for your employer to pay this.
  • You can apply for a Departing Australia Superannuation Payment to release your superannuation benefit once you have permanently departed Australia.
  • You are eligible for compensation if you are injured or become sick because of your work. Please be aware that work related injuries are not covered by the Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC).

 Income Tax

  • If you earn money working in Australia, you must submit an annual tax return showing all income earned and tax paid in the tax year.
  • The Australian tax year starts on 1 July and ends on 30 June the following year.
  • Before you leave Australia, complete your final tax return as you may be eligible for a tax refund.
  • Please be aware of the current individual Income Tax Rates.
  • Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman if you need general assistance on work issues.
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