Wages and Pay

You must be paid for the work you perform and you must be paid no less than the minimum hourly or weekly rate of pay.  Most workers in retail, fast food and warehousing are covered by an Award or Enterprise Agreement which determines their rate of pay.

To determine your hourly or weekly rate of pay, you must find out the Award or Agreement you are covered by.

Login here to view your Agreement or Award and your current rate of pay.


Wage theft

Wage theft occurs when your employer either systematically or mistakenly underpays you. This is a serious matter and is unlawful. It often occurs when an employer does not pay or is underpaying base rates, penalty rates, overtime or entitlements (leave accrual or superannuation).

Keep your payslips and check your pay carefully to ensure you are paid correctly. Contact the SDA immediately if you suspect you are a victim of wage theft.


Penalty rates and entitlements

Penalty rates are the most common kind of allowance and are paid when working at certain times and days; these penalties cover situations such as public holidays, weekends, overtime and night shifts.

Casual employees also receive an additional loading on their rate of pay (typically between 20 to 25 per cent) in lieu of a range of entitlements, such as annual and sick leave.

Your Award or Agreement will detail the penalty rates, allowances and entitlements which you should receive.

Login here to view your Award or Agreement.


Underpaid or unpaid work

There are many situations where employees are working and being unpaid, or being underpaid. These include:

  • Working before a rostered shift commences
  • Working through rest pauses or meal breaks
  • ‘Clocking off’ and then going back to work
  • Taking work home e.g. paperwork
  • Working after the rostered finish time (e.g. 10 or 15 minutes) and not getting paid
  • Coming in on a day off or while on leave, and not getting paid; and
  • Being put on a ‘trial’.

If any of these situations arise at your employer’s direction, you are entitled to be paid at the correct rate.

The SDA does not support unpaid work. Don’t fall into the trap of performing unpaid work, all work must be paid for. If you think you are being underpaid or performing unpaid work speak to your delegate or contact the SDA.


Pay, tax and superannuation


As an employee, you must receive a payslip that details the hours worked, the rate of pay, total earnings, tax deducted, superannuation paid (if applicable), accrued leave (if applicable) and other relevant information.

Pay increases

Relevant wage increases and their regularity are built into the Award or Agreement you are covered by.

Pay increases in Modern Awards and the National Minimum Wage are determined by the ‘annual wage review’ conducted by the Fair Work Commission.

Login here to view your current rate of pay.


To be eligible to receive superannuation contributions you must satisfy certain criteria:

  • You must earn over $450 per calendar month;
  • Be under the age of 70 years old;
  • Be working full time, part time or casual;
  • If you’re under 18 years of age you must also work a minimum 30 hours a week to get superannuation contributions. However some Awards and Enterprise Agreements may have superannuation entitlements included in them – regardless of the hours you work and what age you are; and
  • Apprentices and trainees are also entitled to superannuation if they work more than 30 hours per week and earn more than $450 per month.

If you meet these requirements your employer must deposit an extra 9.5% of your wage (ordinary time earnings) into your superannuation fund.

Most Enterprise Agreements negotiated by the SDA nominate the Retail Employees Superannuation Trust - REST – as the most appropriate fund for your employment or list it as a default fund.

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