Student Portal / Working in Adelaide / Understanding Your Work Rights
If you’re an international student planning to work in Adelaide, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities.
Your student visa is essential for you to be able to work in Australia. It is important that you understand the working conditions of your student visa.
International students should be aware that:
To view the full list of working restrictions, check your visa conditions with the Department of Home Affairs.
Extended post study work rights
The Australian government has announced extended post-study work rights for international students who graduate with select qualifications from an Australian higher education provider.
The additional two years of work rights applies to an extensive list of occupations and eligible qualifications in areas of skills shortage including health, teaching, engineering, and agriculture.
Effective from 1 July 2023, eligible South Australian students will have post study work rights increased to
Find out more, including the list of occupations and eligible qualifications, in the government media release.
Changes to international student work restrictions
From 1 July 2023, work restrictions for international students while they are studying will be re-introduced. International students will be able to work 48 hours per fortnight.
Students can continue to work unlimited hours during holiday breaks from study.
Part-time employment is an excellent way to balance work with your study. As a part-time employee, you’ll receive the same benefits as a full-time employee on a pro-rata basis. You will generally work regular and ongoing hours and be entitled to annual leave, sick and carer's leave.
Casual employment gives you more flexibility, but often fewer guaranteed hours than a part-time employee. As a casual employee, you’ll get a higher hourly pay rate, but aren't entitled to paid sick leave or annual leave.
Learn more about working part-time while studying from international student, Parul.
It’s illegal to be discriminated against or disadvantaged by race, religion, age, gender, marital status, sexuality or disability. Find out more at the Equal Opportunity Commission.
Your employer must provide a safe and healthy working environment. This includes managing hazards and risks and looking after your health and wellbeing in a workplace free from discrimination and harassment. Find out more at SafeWork SA.
For some jobs, you’ll need an industry certification or licence to operate equipment. For example, to work in security jobs, the gambling industry or childcare, you’ll need a certification. And if you’re operating specific equipment like scissor lifters, you’ll need a licence. Find out more by speaking with your employer.
You have the right to join a union which can help protect your rights at work (union fees apply). It’s illegal for your employer to stop you from joining a union or to discriminate against you for being a union member. Find out more from the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
Police Checks and Clearances
Your employer may ask for a police record check or a background screening check (especially if you will be working with children, the elderly or in the disability sector).
Your Employer Can’t
For more information on what your employer can't do view these resources:
You should never agree to let an employer pay you in cash (without a pay slip) or allow you to work more hours than your visa allows.
If you do, you might:
If you think your employer is doing the wrong thing, here are some tips on how to start a conversation with your employer.
You can also contact the Fairwork Ombudsman, which has information available in 30 different languages, for advice and assistance.
If you’re going to work in Australia, you should make sure you know how much you’re going to be paid and understand how the Australian tax system works.
Your pay rate will depend on the type of work you’re doing. Your pay should be confirmed in your contract of employment, Enterprise Bargaining Agreement, or it might be governed by an industry award.
Your employer should give you a copy of your contract or award. If they don’t, you should ask for it.
You should be aware that:
For more information about fair pay, visit Fairwork Australia.
When you work in Australia, you must pay tax. In order to do that, you will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) with the Australian Taxation Office to provide to your employer.
If you don’t have a TFN, your employer will withhold more of your pay as tax, so it’s a good idea to get one.
Here are some things you should be aware of:
For more information on tax, visit the Australian Taxation Office.
If you’re over 18 and earning more than $450 per month (before tax), your employer must pay superannuation (or ‘super’) into your nominated fund. This money grows over your lifetime and provides for your retirement.
This money will stay in your super fund, unless you decide to claim it back when you leave Australia.
Hear from international students about living and studying in Adelaide.Read more stories