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Key Questions to Ask
Key Questions to Ask

If you are starting a new job, or if you have questions about what you are entitled to, find out what you should look out for!

Young Workers Advice Service Team avatar
Written by Young Workers Advice Service Team
Updated over a week ago

Starting a new job can be scary, but also exciting! However, there are some red flags that you should take note of - some employers try to take advantage of young workers and rip you off. This isn't okay!

Here are some key questions to ask if you are starting a new job or are curious about your workplace rights. 

When will I be receiving a Letter of Offer or Engagement?

A Letter of Offer or a Letter of Engagement is a formal document that sets out the relationship between you and your employer. This makes clear what you will be expected to do, and what you can expect from your employer. It can be used as written evidence if you require it.

You should receive a Letter of Offer/Engagement or written contract before starting a new job. If you don't, you should try and get something in writing from your employer which states what hours/days you will be expected to work, and how you will be paid.

Will I be paid for training?

Training should be paid because it is considered 'work time'. Find out more about what 'work time' is by looking at our fact sheet here.

When will I be receiving a pay slip? What day will I be paid?

Even if you are paid in cash, you should receive a pay slip. You should receive a pay slip within a day of being paid. Your pay slip should state your hourly rate, any loadings or penalty rates you will receive, and any tax taken out or superannuation paid, among other things. Find out more here.

What Award or Agreement will I be covered by?

Your employer should tell you which Award or Enterprise Agreement you will be covered by, and what level or classification you will be. 

There are Awards for every type of job and industry - for example, Fast Food or Retail. Awards set out pay and conditions for everyone in that industry.

Enterprise Agreements replace the relevant Award, and set out pay and conditions for a specific workplace. Agreements must provide pay and conditions better than the Award. 

Find out more about Awards and Agreements, and which one you might be covered by, in our fact sheet here.

What is my hourly rate? What are my penalty rates?

Your employer should also tell you what your hourly rate is, and what penalty rates you may receive if you work at particular times, such as weekends or public holidays.

Your minimum hourly rate is set out in your Award or Agreement, but you can be paid above the minimum.

It is illegal to be paid less than the minimum wage. Find out more about the minimum wage here

You must be paid correctly according to your Award or Agreement. Paying you less than you are entitled to is wage theft!

What do I do if I have more questions, or something doesn't feel right? 

If you have more questions, or think you are not being treated properly or fairly, get in touch with us. We can give you advice about what you are entitled to, and help you decide what to do. We can also direct you to other people who can help.  

To find out more about how to join your union, visit or have a look at our fact sheet here.

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