- Non-Australian citizens must have the correct visa before they will be permitted to work in Australia. You will need to state that you have a visa which allows you to work or are awaiting approval for that visa when applying for jobs. You can get a a working holiday visa or a student visa which allows you to work 20 hours per week. For more information on available visas and also sponsorship opportunities in Australia go to our VISA section.
- Learning English - If you are not fluent in English you will find it very difficult to get a skilled job. Realistically, an IELTS score of 7.0 or higher is needed for a skilled job. If you are not already fluent, potential employers will need to know what your standard of English is. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is the recognised system.
For more information go to: www.border.gov.au
For details of English language tests in your locality see: www.IELTS.org
- Get your existing qualifications recognised in Australia. Many migrants will find that their qualifications are not recognised by Australian employers. Even though your qualifications may have been recognised officially by the government as part of the migration process, individual employers will not understand how they relate to the Australian equivalent. Make sure that you make plain on your application what the Australian equivalent of your qualification would be. Some professionals (e.g. teaching, electronics, nursing, IT) will find it worthwhile to have formal qualifications recognised/translated into the Australian equivalent.
For a free Government assessment of qualifications go to: www.expatfocus.com
If you have trade qualifications in engineering, construction, metalwork, electrical or catering, the Trades Recognition Australia for Overseas provides this service. Trades Recognition Australia, GPO Box 9879, Canberra ACT 26011, Tel +612 6121 7456
For Tertiary qualifications, the Australian Education International-National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI-NOOSR) internationaleducation.gov.au provides information on how to have post-secondary overseas academic qualifications recognised.
Study in Australia – It may be worth upgrading your qualification at an Australian University. You may get a reasonable amount of credit for your overseas studies. See our Education section for more info.
Improved Salary Levels– this article may be interesting . It shows that salary levels are improving.
Understanding your Work Entitlements in Australia
Before you start working for a new employer, it is important that you understand your rights at work such as hours, duties and pay rates. There is good co-operation between the government and the unions and nearly half of all workers in Australia are union members, of which there are around 160 different ones.
- Hours worked in excess of 38 should attract overtime which could be at a rate of time and a half or double time, but will vary according to the employer. Public sector employees are often on a flexi system.
- Annual leave: At least four weeks paid leave each year based on 12 months continuous service. The minimum annual entitlement for shift workers is 5 weeks. If you do not take all of your annual leave you can be paid for it at the end of the 12 month period. NB casual workers on a temporary contract are not entitled to any annual leave.
- Other leave: Full-time permanent staff are entitled to 10 paid days of Personal Leave each year if unfit for work as a result of injury or illness. You can also take Carer’s Leave if you need to look after a family member through illness/emergency: this leave also accrues through the year. There are also provisions to take up to 2 days’ unpaid leave, if insufficient paid leave has been accrued.
- Compassionate Leave: in the event of a bereavement or sudden illness of a close relative there is an automatic 2 days paid leave; you may need to provide evidence of this. Unpaid Parental Leave can be taken for up to 12 months (provided that you have completed the qualifying period of 12 months of continuous service in your job.) It must be taken as a continuous block. Your employer would be breaking the law if they did not allow you to return to work after a period of Parental Leave. It is worth noting that the government also offers a parental leave scheme :www.humanservices.gov.au
- Maternity Pay: while there is a requirement to provide 52 weeks unpaid maternity leave to the primary care giver there is no compulsory requirement for employers to provide paid maternity leave although some companies do choose to do so.
- Public Holidays: If required to work public holidays your rate of pay for the day should be higher than the standard. Go to our Public Holiday section for more information.
- Termination: The notice periods for continuous service with the same employer are as below: Employed for less than 1 year = 1 week; Employed 1- 3 years = 2 weeks; Employed 3 -5 years = 3 weeks; Employed 5 or more years = 4 weeks. Employees aged over 45 who have worked for more than 2 years with the same employer are entitled to an extra week’s notice in addition to those already mentioned. For more information on work entitlements, see www.fairwork.gov.au
Ensure you have a written contract of employment. All employers should provide a written contract of employment, detailing all the working conditions such as pay and leave entitlement.