Helpful Resources

Working Part time and Australian Labour Laws

One of the attractions of studying in Australia is the privilege of international students to be able to work part-time up to 20 hours per week. The international student may earn from minimum wage of $16 AUD per hour to a maximum of $21 AUD per hour.

The pay earned can contribute to defraying some living expenses.

Understanding the differences between part-time work and casual work as well as that between an employee and a contractor is important. Aside from the weekly hours worked, leave, office tools, superannuation, and taxes, the entitlements and labour rights also vary.

Part-time employees work less than 38 hours per week and do not have ongoing employment on a regular basis. Part-time employees are entitled to the same terms and conditions of employment as a full-time employee, however, their entitlements are generally pro-rated to how many hours of work they perform each week.

For example, a part-time employee is still entitled to four weeks of annual leave per year under the National Employment Standards, but this entitlement is calculated on how many hours the part-time employee works each week. This means that if a part-time employee works 20 hours per week, their annual leave payment is calculated on a 20 hour week (and not a 38 hour week).

A casual worker, on the other hand, has no guaranteed hours of work and are not entitled to annual or sick leave. They are paid by the hour and can terminate their employment without a notice period unless their agreement states so.

Contractors can negotiate their own terms and fees, and have the freedom to work for more than one employer. Being self-employed and independent, the contractor handles his/her superannuation and taxation matters.

Students can visit the Australian government portals such as and for more information.



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