Types of employment in Australia

Regardless of whether you are engaging in a paid WIL activity or simply working for an employer as allowed by your visa while you are studying in Australia, your employer must inform you whether you will be a full-time, part-time or casual employee before starting a new job. This will determine the hours you work, your rate of pay and your entitlements such as annual leave.

  • Full-time: you would generally be working an average of 38 hours a week, be paid for the full week and receive paid entitlements such as annual leave and sick leave.
  • Part-time: you would work regular and systematic hours a week but less than a full-time employee. Usually you would receive the same benefits of a full-time employee such as paid annual leave and paid sick leave.
  • Casual: you would work on an hourly basis with a minimum of two to three hours with no regular or set hours. You will only get paid for the hours you work and you are not entitled to paid sick leave or annual leave. However, you get paid a higher rate (usually referred to as casual leave loading) to account for not receiving paid sick leave or annual leave

Whether your WIL experience is paid or unpaid, it is important to know about your rights to work in Australia. For most international students, you have the right to work up to 40 hours a fortnight during session but if you are a master by research or a doctoral degree student then you don’t have any limits on the hours you can work.

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Helpful links

If you are unsure about the work conditions of your current visa, you can check them using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) tool. Employers can also use VEVO to confirm how many hours you’re permitted to work with the visa you’re holding.

Understanding Australian Workplace Cultures: Legislative and regulatory frameworks

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