Money and working issues
The Fair Work Ombusdman manages information and advice about Australia's workplace rights and rules for employees, employers and contractors.
The website includes information about pay, awards, employment, leave, termination and complaints. Often, people migrating to Australia are unsure of the pay they should receive. To ensure you are being paid to industry standard, use the Ombudsman’s Award Finder to search for the awards for your job.
Age pensions are financial support for those over 65 who have retired from the workforce. Centrelink is the authority that manages pensions in Australia. Not all migrants will qualify for an Age Pension in Australia. If you want to know whether you are eligible for any of the above pensions, you can find the conditions for receiving the pension on the Centrelink Age Pension page. For a full list of the areas in which Centrelink can provide financial support, please see the Centrelink Payments page.
Salary taxation and retirement pensions (“superannuation”)
Australian residents pay tax on their income. Non-residents pay tax differently. On the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website you can determine exactly what your residency status is for income tax purposes.
If you work or earn money in Australia you must have a Tax File Number (TFN), which is a unique number issued by the ATO to individual taxpayers. You can apply online for a TFN or in person at the ATO, or at Centrelink.
You don’t have to have a job before you can apply for your TFN, so you should apply for one as soon as you arrive in Australia. Your TFN also links you with Medicare and other Government benefit programs.
Australian residents report all income earned yearly from July 1 to June 30. Each year, from June 30 to October 31, you need to lodge your tax return through an accredited agent, or do it yourself via mail or online through the ATO’s ‘e-tax’.
Registered tax agents are listed on the Tax Practitioners Board website. You can also find a tax specialist or accountant using a directory such as the Yellow Pages.
For extensive information on income tax in Australia and how it applies to you, read the ATO’s ‘Working in Australia- what you need to know’.
Retirement pensions (“Superannuation”)
If your wage is more than AUS$450 per week, your employer will contribute an amount equal to 9% of your wage into your superannuation account. This is true for temporary residents, too. However, they are entitled to receive their superannuation benefits once they leave Australia. If you will be a temporary resident in Australia, you need to read about the departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP).
Make yourself familiar with the Acts and Regulations relevant to the Western Australia Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC). This will help you understand your legal rights as an employee.
You can also find organisations related to your area of work that can help you with industrial relations questions, or issues within your field of work. The WAIRC also provides information on how to lodge an application or appeal to any industrial relations issues.