Getting Paid For The Work You Do

You have a right to be paid the correct grade:

Employees should be paid in accordance with their correct classification or “grade”.

Enterprise agreements and Modern Awards have a classification section which sets out job roles and the associated duties. Each classification usually has a different pay rate.

Often in Enterprise Agreements there are ‘store team member’ type roles which most employees fall under, but often there are higher level supervisory or specialised roles which carry with them a higher level of pay.

Problems arise where employees are paid at a lower grade to the duties they are performing. For example, a worker may be earning an ordinary ‘team member’ wage but expected to fulfil the activities of a higher grade employee, for example a ‘Supervisor’ or ‘Relief Manager’.

In these instances it is advisable that you check your Enterprise Agreement or relevant Modern Award and the associated classifications. Classifications set out the activities and responsibilities of each grade.

If you are fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of a higher grade then you should be paid as such.

You have a right to be paid for the hours you work:

Employees have to be paid the right pay rate for all hours they work, including time spent:

  • training
  • in team meetings
  • opening and closing the business
  • working unreasonable trial shifts

It is common for employees in retail and fast food to be expected to be on the register “ready to go” at your starting time on the roster. In reality you may have to start up to 10 or 15 minutes earlier, for example, to clock-on, turn on registers, collect cash, count it in and put it in the register. Similarly it is common for people to be rostered to finish at the closing time of the store, and the register must remain open until close. Only at that time are the registers able to be cashed up, cash locked away, alarms set and store locked. This means you could finish up to 15 minutes later than your roster says you do.

These are examples of unpaid work and under no circumstances should you work without pay.

Similarly the SDA has received calls regarding training or team member meetings. On numerous occasions employers have asked their workers to attend work on their rostered day off, or stay back for meetings and in some instances those workers were not paid. If you are asked to attend a work meeting then you have a right to be paid for your time. You should check your relevant Agreement or Award to see what the minimum engagements are for training and staff meetings.

As an employee you should be paid the correct rate for ALL the work you do and you should not have to start early or stay back on your time.

If you need any advice about your right to be paid for the work you do or any other employment matter, please contact the SDA on (02) 4961 4694 or send us an email at






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