Getting Paid!

Getting paid involves a whole lot more than just money, read here about Tax File Numbers, Superannuation and Pay Slips.

Tax File Number

If you are starting your first job you will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN). The Australian Taxation Office will give you a TFN to help manage your taxes and superannuation. The number is unique and yours forever! Click here for more information on why you need a Tax File Number. Find out more about applying for a TFN, you might even be able to apply through your school.


You may have seen a lot of advertising about superannuation (super). Superannuation is money set aside for when you retire. Your employer will pay your superannuation into your super fund for you. Your superannuation does not come out of your pay, it is an extra amount of money your employer has to pay. Your employer has to pay an additional 9.25% of your wage into your super fund. These payments are called super guarantee contributions. Super funds invest your money in things like shares and property. You may be able to choose you own Super Fund or your employer might pay it into a default fund that they have chosen. You can access your super when you retire.

You can find more information about super on the ATO website and the Money Smart website.

Pay Slips

Your employer must give you a pay slip every time you get paid. Your pay slip must include:

  • How many hours you worked
  • How much you got paid for those hours
  • How much superannuation was paid into your super fund
  • How much (if any) money was taken out for tax

Your pay slip will have gross pay and net pay amounts on it. Gross pay is how much you get paid before anything is deducted (like tax). Net pay is the amount you actually see in your bank account, it’s how much you paid after tax.

You may be given a hardcopy of your pay slip, sent an email with an electronic version, or you may be able to access it online.

I think I’m being underpaid, what do I do?

It is important to know you are being paid the right amount. If you think you’re being underpaid check out Money Smart’s guide to solving pay issues. You can check how much you should be getting paid on Fairwork Australia’s website or try calling your trade union for advice on pay rates and what to do if you’re being underpaid.