Fair Work Ombudsman – knowing your rights

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) provides information and advice about your  workplace rights and obligations. The FWO is an independent statutory office created by the Fair Work Act 2009 to promote harmonious, productive and cooperative workplace relations and ensure compliance with Commonwealth workplace laws in Australia.

As an international visitor studying and working in Australia, the FWO offers many important tips for young workers and students starting out in the workplace.

The FWO can assist with information about:

How much you should be paid including a handy Pay Calculator
Your entitlements
Awards and Agreements
Annual Leave


The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) is committed to ensuring that everyone who is employed in Australia receives the pay and conditions they are entitled to at work. As an international student, you have the same workplace rights as everyone else. The FWO’s website  has information in 40 different languages to help you know what your rights are.

Want to report a workplace issue but don’t want to get involved?

The FWO wants to know about injustices in the workplace to help make all workplaces fair. Sometimes people are hesitant in coming forward to report something. The FWO’s anonymous reporting tool lets you report a workplace issue without providing any details about yourself. It is available in 17 different languages.

Using the anonymous reporting tool means that the FWO will not be able to contact you in relation to the reported concern, or request your employer to give you the correct pay or other entitlements. The FWO uses information received through the anonymous reporting tool to help guide education and enforcement activities.

If you want some help with your employment you can call the FWO on 13 13 94 to talk about your concerns. If you’d prefer to speak to the FWO in your first language you can call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50. Just tell the operator the language you speak and ask them to call the FWO on 13 13 94.

Worried about what might happen with your visa if you contact the FWO?

Only the Department of Home Affairs can cancel your visa. The FWO has made an agreement with the Department of Home Affairs that a person’s visa will not be cancelled if they seek the FWO’s help, even if they haven’t met the conditions of their visa, as long as they:
• Have an entitlement to work in Australia as part of their visa
• Believe they have been exploited at work
• Have reported their circumstances to the FWO
• Are actively assisting the FWO in an investigation
This agreement will apply, as long as the person meets their visa conditions in the future, and there are no other reasons why the visa should be cancelled.


Download the Dead Lucky Factsheet for information on who to contact in relation to:

• Employment
• Health & Wellbeing
• Sexual Assault or Harassment
• Legal Support

Do you want to volunteer?

The Student Hub welcomes students who want to help by volunteering their time and skills to assist other students. We’re also developing an exciting Internship Program and are happy to assist with finding an internship or volunteer position for you.


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