Working in fast food - What you need to know

If you’re one of the 300,000 Australians working in Australia’s fast food industry, there are many things you should know about your employment.

This is especially the case if you’re a young worker or new to the workforce.

Most employees in the industry are covered by the Fast Food Industry Award 2010, unless your employer has an Enterprise Agreement.

Be sure to check your agreement / award and familiarise yourself with your rights and entitlements.

Below is a checklist of the key areas you should focus on.


Your contract of employment

Are you employed on full-time, part-time or casual basis?

Your employment type will affect your hours of work, rate of pay and some of your entitlements.


Your classification or grade

Know what your classification or grade you are, e.g: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 etc.

You should also be aware of what duties/responsibilities go with each level.


Your hourly rate

What is your rate of pay? Rates will depend on your classification or grade, duties, age, experience and qualifications. If your duties change, this may affect your rate of pay. You should receive a pay increase each year from age 16 to age 21. Refer to your agreement or award.

Ensure you check how often you get paid (i.e. weekly or fortnightly), what day pay day is, and how and when you will receive your payslip.


Roster Provisions

Check what the minimum and maximum hours you can work are, and what breaks you are entitled to between shifts.



You may get penalties for overnight shifts, weekends and/or public holidays etc.



Ensure you know how many hours you have to work to get a paid rest break, and how many hours you have to work to get a meal break (this is an unpaid break).



Depending on your award or agreement, you may receive some or all of the following allowances:

  • Meal Allowance
  • Travel Allowance
  • First Aid Allowance
  • Uniform/Laundry Allowance
  • Crew Meeting Allowance


Leave entitlements

Depending on your award or agreement, you may be entitled to:

  • Annual Leave
  • Personal/Carers Leave
  • Compassionate Leave
  • Natural disaster Leave
  • Jury Service Leave
  • Blood Donor Leave
  • Unpaid Leave


Join the SDA

Sometimes it can be daunting to speak with management about issues.

The SDA is the union that represents employees working in the fast food industry.

Joining the SDA gives you a voice and strength in the workplace. The more members, the stronger you are.

As a member, you’re not alone if something goes wrong at work or if you need to negotiate with your employer. Your union is by your side. We help with issues like roster disputes, under payments, and bullying/harassment, and provide confidential advice, support and representation when you need it.

Joining your union is the best way to secure a better life – at work and at home.

To join the SDA, call 1300 732 HELP (1300 732 4357).



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