Payslip red flags

If you are under 25 and you are unsure about your rights or responsibilities or what to do next, you can get free, confidential legal advice here. 

By law, all employees must be given a payslip, no later than one day after they receive their pay. A payslip can be in hard copy, or electronic. There are legal requirements about what details must be recorded on each payslip – see below If you are not receiving payslips, are concerned about the details recorded on your payslip, or need help understanding your payslip, contact us here for advice. 

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What does my payslip need to include?

payslip

The Fair Work Ombudsman has released a sample payslip which explains everything that should appear on your payslip. Not all payslips will look the same – yours might look quite different, but still needs to include the same information. 

See the sample payslip here 

What are some red flags to look out for?

As an employee, it is important to be aware of some common signs that you might not being paid correctly. 

 Your employer would be breaking the law if they are: 

  • Paying you in cash and not giving you payslips 
  • Not giving you payslips or your payslips don’t accurately record all required details 
  • Not withholding tax (PAYG) as required by law 
  • Not paying you superannuation 
  • Deducting amounts from your pay without your agreement 

payslip

Being paid in cash

Being paid in cash is allowed by law, but only if your boss still gives you a payslip which records everything on the list above including things like how much tax has been taken out, how much has been paid into superannuation and how much you have been paid per hour. Often, people being paid cash in hand are being paid less than the legal minimum rates and are not having tax withheld as required by law. If you are being paid in cash and not receiving payslips, we encourage you to contact us for free legal advice.

Not getting a payslip

It’s against the law to not give employees payslips. If you aren’t getting payslips, you can’t be sure that you’re being paid correctly, and your employer is breaking the law

Payslip doesn’t record everything it’s supposed to

The Fair Work Act sets out everything that must be included on your payslip, which are listed in our graphic above. If any of this information is missing, you can’t be sure that you’re being paid correctly, and your employer is breaking the law. 

Tax has not been withheld

Your payslip must include your gross pay (the amount before tax has been taken out), and your net pay (the amount after tax has been taken out). All employers must withhold tax from employees who earn over the ‘tax free threshold’, which is currently $18,200 a year. Even if you are earning under that, your payslip still needs to have a section which says how much tax has been withheld – which in this case, will just say “$0”.

Super hasn’t been paid

All employees over 18 years old in Australia must receive superannuation, no matter how much they earn. If you are under 18, you also need to receive super if you work 30 hours or more a week. Your payslip must indicate how much super has been paid if you are eligible. 

Deductions you haven’t agreed to

Employers generally cannot deduct money from your wages without your written agreement. Look out for any ‘deductions’ listed on your payslip or any accruals (e.g., annual leave balances) that suddenly go missing. See our page on Pay – Deductionsfor more info. 

How often should I be paid?

You should be paid at least once a month, but you may be paid as often as weekly or fortnightly.  How often you are paid, and the method (such as by direct deposit into your account or by cash or cheque) will usually be set out in your modern award, enterprise agreement or employment contract. Your employer will decide the exact dates when you are paid, and this will usually be explained in your employment contract.     

There is no law requiring employers to pay you on any particular day. 

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