Awards and wages

All private sector employers in Queensland are covered by the Fair Work national workplace relations system. The Fair Work system includes National Employment Standards (NES) and modern awards, which outline the rate of pay for most workers as well as a range of other conditions and entitlements.

Pay rates

The Fair Work Ombudsman website provides information, resources and tools to help you calculate pay rates for your employees. The website also covers:

  • minimum wage
  • penalty rates
  • overtime
  • allowances
  • apprentice and trainee pay
  • pay slips.

Paid leave

The NES also outlines leave entitlements for employees based on their type of employment.

The Australian Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme provides financial support for new parents while they're off work caring for a newborn or recently adopted child.

You may be required to provide government-funded Parental Leave Pay to an employee. Find out more about what the Paid Parental Leave scheme means for you.


Most workplaces in Australia are now covered by modern awards, outlined in the Fair Work system. Modern awards are industry or occupation-based employment standards that work in conjunction with the NES to ensure that all employees in Australia who work in similar industries or occupations are provided the same minimum entitlements, including wages and hours of work.

The Fair Work Ombudsman website provides detailed information on modern awards and tools to help you work out what awards your employees are covered by.

Tax obligations for paying staff

As an employer, you must be aware of your tax obligations when paying staff, including pay as you go, withholding tax and superannuation. Depending on the size of your business, you may also need to pay payroll tax.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website provides essential tax information for employers regarding paying staff, including:

  • tax rates
  • paying superannuation
  • employee termination payments
  • redundancy pay
  • paying contractors.

The website also includes forms for both employees and employers, and calculators and tools to help you make sure you withhold the correct amount of tax.


As an employer, you can either pay a set minimum level of superannuation for each of your eligible employees, or pay a charge to the ATO.

A guide to superannuation for employers is available from the ATO website.

For small businesses with 19 or fewer employees, the Australian Government’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House is a free online superannuation payments service that helps small businesses meet their superannuation obligations.

Record keeping

You are legally obligated to keep records about staff pay, such as pay slips and time sheets.

The Fair Work Ombudsman outlines employer record keeping obligations and the ATO provides a record keeping evaluation tool to help you work out what records you need to keep for the whole of your business.

Related links

Last reviewed
May 4, 2016


General enquiries 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

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