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We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people and recognise any other people or families with connection to the lands of the ACT and region.

Employee Benefits

As a worker in Australia, you’re entitled to employment benefits and fair, safe working conditions.

Some government and private sector employers also offer other incentives such as salary packaging, higher superannuation contributions and staff discounts.

These employee benefits apply to Australian citizens, residents and visa holders. If you want to come to Australia to work, you’ll need a visa for the work you plan to do. Find out more about migration to Canberra.

Here’s what you can expect when you work in Canberra.

Fair work standards

We have workplace laws that apply equally to everyone employed in Australia. Employers hiring foreign workers must also comply with immigration laws.

The national Fair Work system sets out minimum rates of pay and working conditions under awards, agreements or contracts of employment. Ask your employer which one applies to you.

We also have National Employment Standards (NES), which are 11 minimum entitlements provided to all employees. There include things like:

  • maximum weekly hours
  • requests for flexible working arrangements
  • parental leave and other entitlements
  • annual leave
  • personal leave and carers leave.

Find out more at Fair Work Ombudsman

Safe working conditions

Everyone has the right to be safe at work. Australia has work health and safety laws in place to protect you while you’re working. All employers must provide and maintain safe workplaces for their staff.

You’re covered by our work health and safety laws if you are:

  • a temporary working visa holder
  • a permanent resident
  • an Australian citizen.

These laws apply to every workplace.


Superannuation (super) is a government arrangement that encourages people to put aside funds to support them when they retire.

As part of this arrangement, employers must make mandatory payments into an employee’s nominated super fund. These contributions are a minimum of 10.5% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings.

You’re eligible for super contributions from your employer if you’re:

  • over 18 years
  • under 18 years and work over 30 hours a week.

This applies to all types of eligible employees including:

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • casual and contract workers
  • temporary residents.


Australian residents enjoy universal healthcare in Australia under our national Medicare system. Medicare helps with the costs of seeing a doctor, getting medicines and accessing mental health treatment.

To enrol in Medicare, you need to be living in Australia and either:

  • an Australian or New Zealand citizen
  • an Australian permanent resident
  • applying for permanent residency
  • a temporary resident covered by a ministerial order.

Find out more about healthcare in Canberra.


There may be times when you need to take leave from work for reasons such as illness or pregnancy. Depending on the role and your employer, this leave may be paid or unpaid.

Annual leave

Annual leave allows you to be paid while taking time off work. It’s also known as holiday pay.

If you’re working full-time or part-time, you’re entitled to four (4) weeks of paid annual leave for every 12 months you work. You begin accumulating leave from your first day of work, and you can take leave as soon as you have accrued it.

Casual or contract workers are not entitled to annual leave.

Parental leave

Employees in Australia are entitled to up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave. You can request up to an additional 12 months of leave if you need it.

You may also be eligible for the government-funded Paid Parental Leave scheme. This is a payment over a period of 18-20 weeks to help families take time off work to care for a newborn or newly-adopted child.

As an employee in Australia, you’re entitled to parental leave if you:

  • have or will have responsibility for the care of a child
  • have worked for your employer for at least 12 months.

If you’re a newly-arrived migrant, you may need to wait two (2) years before you can get Parental Leave Pay.

Sick pay

If you’re a full-time or part-time employee, you’re entitled to paid sick leave if you can’t work because of a personal illness or injury. This can include mental health and pregnancy-related illnesses. You’re also entitled to paid carer’s leave if you need time off to care for someone else.

This entitlement is part of National Employment Standards. It doesn’t apply to casual or contract workers.


The Canberra Toolkit has images, videos and guidance you might need to promote work and life in our city.