5. RATES OF PAY
Ah, the big question on every interviewee’s lips. The one you’re too scared to ask about. You know you’re only in it for the money, but you told the employer: “Oh, I love being bossed around, it’s what I majored in.”
Temping and office work can vary greatly from $15 up to $60 an hour for specialised professions. Average administrative roles in major cities usually pay between $20 and $27 per hour.
A job in hospitality will have you earning anything from around $15 an hour up to about $25, but bear in mind jobs with lower wages often get better tips, plus there’s often bonus rates (such as double time on public holidays). Also, you might get paid less at resorts, but it might be easier to blag free trips, dives, ski passes etc.
Harvesting is all about how gung-ho you are. Harvesting work is paid either by the hour or by the “bin”, which often works out more profitable if you’re willing to put the effort in. Whatever you’re doing you must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage per hour. That’s $15.51 (or $589.30 per week) if you’re 21 or older. It varies between jobs if you’re younger, so call the Fair Work Info Line on 13 13 94. When doing harvest work paid by the bucket, employers must still pay you the minimum hourly rate.
Take note that you are entitled to one unpaid 30 minute meal break per day plus one paid 10 minute rest break. You should also get a payslip within one day of wages being paid. Visit fairwork.gov.au if you encounter any problems.
6. GET MOBILE
As well as keeping in touch with friends and family back home and in Oz, having a mobile phone could simply be the difference between you getting that job you so desperately seek or the other candidate that’s easily contactable.
Vodafone often has the best pre-paid deals, but beware that reception outside the main cities might be fairly non-existent. Telstra and Optus are the two biggest Aussie networks. It’s also worth looking into buying an international phonecard so that you can call home super cheap. Lebara Mobile, for example, offers calls to a UK landline for 5c a minute. Shop around though as competition is fierce.