Your Rights at Work

Starting your first job is exciting! But there are some things you need to know before you start.

What are your rights and responsibilities?

Having a job comes with certain rights and entitlements. First of all your employer has to provide a safe working environment for you (they should supply you with protective equipment and clothing if you need it). They should also provide you with health and safety training when you start.

You may also be entitled to paid sick leave, holiday pay or allowances for having certain skills or working in hazardous conditions. This will depend on what kind of employee you are (ask your boss if you’re not sure!).


A full time employee works set hours (an average of 38 hours per week), is paid regularly and pays income tax. Full time employees are entitled to paid sick leave, holiday pay and public holidays!


Part-time workers also work set hours each week, but less than the average 38 hours that full-time employees work. Part-time workers are also entitled to paid sick leave, holiday pay and public holidays! Part-time workers entitlements are on a ‘pro-rata’ basis. This means if you work half the time a full-time employee would you get half the entitlements.

Casual Workers

Casual workers do not work set hours, the hours they work may vary from week to week. Casual workers are paid depending on the number of hours they work each week. If you are a casual worker you might work 5 hours one week and 15 the next. Casual workers do not have entitlements such as paid sick leave or holiday pay. But they do get paid a higher hourly rate to make up for this.

If you’re not sure if you are a casual or part-time employee, you should ask your boss. It is important to make sure you are receiving the right hourly rate and entitlements. You can check how much you should be paid by using the Fairwork Ombudsman’s Award Finder. You can find more information on the Girls Gotta Know website. If your employer is not respecting your rights try calling your union for advice.