Support and resources

Useful links and resources

Explore information about the laws, regulations and responsibilities of recruiting a student for employment.

Guidelines for pay and awards

The Australian National Minimum Wage is the minimum base rate of pay for ordinary hours worked to any employee who is not covered by an award or agreement. Most employees are covered by an award.

The national minimum wage can be found at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/minimum-wages.

Casual employees covered by the national minimum wage also get at least a 25 percent casual loading.

For award and agreement free junior employees, the percentage scale in the Miscellaneous Award 2010 is applied to the national minimum wage.

If the role is covered by an award, you can find the appropriate minimum pay rates by using the Fair Work Ombudsman’s PACT (Pay And Conditions Tool). For industries not covered by PACT and more information, please check the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

A junior is an employee under 21 years of age.

Juniors get paid a percentage of the relevant adult pay rate unless:

  • the award, enterprise agreement or other registered agreement doesn't have junior rates, or
  • they have completed an apprenticeship and are trade qualified.

The percentages that apply is usually based on the employee’s age and increases on their next birthday. 

You can find out more about junior pay rates on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

An employee can only be paid apprentice pay rates if they have a formal training contract with their employer. The training has to be registered and recognised by a state or territory training authority. These employees do their training through a Registered Training Organisation such as a TAFE.

Apprentice pay rates will depend on how long the apprenticeship is and how much training the apprentice has done.

You can find out more about this award on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Most trainees get their pay and conditions related to their training from Schedule E in the Miscellaneous Award 2010. They get their other entitlements (such as penalty rates, overtime and allowances) from the industry or occupation award that covers them.

Some trainees get their pay rates from their industry or occupation award.

You can find out more about trainee pay rates on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

The Supported Wage System (SWS) applies to employees with disability and who have a reduced work capacity.

The Department of Social Services gives out information and advice about who is eligible for the SWS. It also accepts applications for the SWS and can deal with disputes. 

You can find out more about disability pay rates on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Anti-discrimination laws exist at both a state and federal level which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, age, disability and race. Workplace rights and responsibilities are set out in the following legislation:

  • Equal Opportunity Act 2010
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984

It is illegal to mislead job seekers or misrepresents any aspect of an available position, by doing so you may incur penalties under Australian Consumer Law.

There are various types of screening procedures that you may need to conduct depending on your organisations circumstances, including:

  • Working with children checks
  • Criminal record checks (Police checks)
  • Other screening tests.

Employees of any organisation who will be undertaking ‘child related work’ as prescribed under the Victorian Working with Children Act 2005 must not commence in that role without a valid Working with Children Check.

The Working with Children Check helps protect children from physical and sexual harm. The scheme aims to prevent those who pose a risk to children from working or volunteering with them.

If your organisation is required to conduct a criminal record check you must contact Victoria Police. Victoria Police will not provide information about an individual's criminal history without that person’s written consent.

Police checks are different from a Working with Children Check and you may require both, depending on the nature of the work being done by the employee. Not all criminal offences will be revealed through a Working with Children Check. A police check allows an organisation to be aware of all previous convictions (including child related ones). This may be appropriate to the employee’s role if it will involve activities like handling money or driving clients between locations.

Even when there’s no legal requirement for background checks, it’s recommended that an organisation screens all potential employees. This may include reference checks, medical tests, and drug and alcohol checks.

An organisation may use background checks or screening as part of a risk management process, and as a way of satisfying the organisation’s duty of care to those who interact with it such as clients, volunteers, other employees and the general public.

Undertaking basic background checks, and checking referee details is a good way to fulfilling your legal obligations and provide a safe workplace when recruiting a new employee.

Privacy laws often apply and govern the way your organisation must manage personal information it has collected during the recruitment process. Even if privacy laws don't apply to your organisation, they should consider how they use, store and disclose information that might be private or sensitive.

For all employee types:

  • Pay the right wages and other allowances.
  • Provide a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Encourage employee to raise issues in the workplace.
  • Conform to relevant State and Commonwealth legislation.

 

For apprentices and trainees:

  • Follow the conditions set out in the Training Agreement and Training Plan.
  • Provide a quality work experience and structured training program.
  • Make sure qualified people supervise apprentice/trainee.
  • Provide release from routine duties as outlined in the Training Plan and Training Agreement.
  • Acknowledge that time training off-the-job is paid time.

Employing international students and graduates

We have students and graduates from over 140 countries who can offer you innovative ideas and cultural insights. Certain visas allow them to work here during and after study.

Each year approximately 80 per cent of our international graduates return to their home country seeking graduate positions. However many international students will stay in Australia to pursue employment after graduating.

Recent changes to visa guidelines mean that many international graduates are now able to work in Australia for periods between 18 months and four years.

We have highlighted some key recruitment information below as a guide for employers looking for RMIT international students and graduates.

International students can undertake paid work while they study, with students being able to work a maximum of 40 hours per fortnight during semester. Whilst during semester breaks they can work unlimited hours. Masters by research and doctoral degree students can work unlimited hours once they start their course.

This allows international students to work on short-term projects or extra hours during peak periods. Find out more by viewing work conditions for student visa holders.

Upon graduation international students are eligible to apply for a post-study work rights visa (subclass 485). This allows them to work in Australia for a specific duration depending on their qualifications.

  • Bachelor / Masters by Coursework - Two years
  • Masters by Research - Three years
  • Doctoral Degree - Four years

 

There are no visa sponsorship costs for you to pay when recruiting applicants who hold these new visas.

Myth 1: “It costs too much to hire international students because they need to be sponsored.”

Fact: In some instances, yes, graduate students may need to be sponsored. However, in many cases, graduates are able to sponsor themselves through the Skilled Graduate visa, entitling them to work full-time in Australia within their recognised field of expertise for up to 18 months. Within this time, they are eligible to apply for permanent residency, creating opportunities for continued employment.

Myth 2: “There will be a language barrier because their English isn’t good enough.”

Fact: In order to be able to work in Australia under the Skilled Graduate or Skilled Migrant visa schemes, international graduates will need to demonstrate English language competence. To demonstrate this competence, international students must meet a minimum score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

This, combined with their experience speaking and writing English while studying in Australia means that most international students are ready for the workforce.

Myth 3: “International employees do not blend well in the workplace because they do not understand Australian culture and business practices.”

Fact: International students spend many years studying and living in Australia, making them confident and comfortable with Australian culture. This understanding, combined with their diverse backgrounds adds great value to Australia’s already unique multicultural workforce.

Myth 4: “Most international students do not possess the required skills.”

Fact: International students are highly educated in their fields, with a large percentage holding postgraduate or higher degrees. Their specialised expertise, maturity and multilingual skills make them qualified to work in a variety of Australian industries.

Recruitment for diversity

For organisations with an inclusive employment strategy, a diverse workplace can bring new perspectives and greater awareness of business opportunities in the market place.

Please use this information to help your organisation move towards inclusive recruitment.

The Diversity Council Australia is the independent, non-profit workplace diversity advisor to business in Australia. They provide research, events, resources and expertise on diversity and inclusion.

Pride in Diversity is the national not-for-profit employer support program for LGBTI workplace inclusion specialising in HR, organisational change and workplace diversity. Pride in Diversity publishes the Australian Workplace Equality Index, Australia’s national benchmarking instrument for LGBTI workplace inclusion from which Top Employers for LGBTI people is determined.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business has a range of financial incentives from the Australian Government that can help hire an Indigenous Australian.

Indigenous Employment Australia is a jobs search site for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The following resources can asssit with the different aspects of disability recruitment:

JobAccess help and workplace solutions for the employment of people with disability.

Australian Network on Disability is a non-profit organisation which seeks to advance the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of business.

Disability Employment Australia is the peak industry body for Australia’s Disability Employment Services (DES).

Disability Works Australia is a charity established to facilitate the provision of employment for people with a disability by providing employers with access to a single, effective contact point for recruiting people with disabilities.

Myth 1: “Hiring employees with a disability increases workers' compensation insurance premiums.”

Fact: An individual employee with a disability will not affect an organisation’s workers' compensation premium, as no weight is placed on whether or not an organisation has employed a person with a disability.

Workers' compensation insurance premiums are based on an organisation’s industry type and its relative hazards or risks. They are also based upon the size of an organisation and the number of employees along with the organisation’s previous history of accident claims.

Myth 2: “Providing equipment for people with disabilities is expensive.”

Fact: The majority of workers with disabilities do not need special equipment to perform their jobs, and for those who do, the cost is usually minimal.

The Australian Government through JobAccess service supports the employment of people with disability with an Employment Assistance Fund to make it even easier for businesses to cover workplace modifications and accessibility costs through the reimbursement of initial costs associated for work related modifications and services. Additionally, modifications made for employees with disabilities may also be of benefit to organisations with an ageing workforce.

Myth 3: “People with disability will not ’fit in’ at my workplace.”

Fact: Working with a person with a disability is no different than working with any other employee. People with disabilities are individuals – some are easy to work with, others are more complex, like everyone else. People with a disability bring diversity to the workplace, which has a distinct positive impact on staff morale.

Myth 4: “People with disabilities are not as productive as other workers.”

Fact: In a study conducted on behalf of Telstra Australia in 1999 it was found that there was no significant difference in people with disabilities compared to people without disability in the area of performance, productivity and sales. Similarly, studies in the USA by DuPont in 1990 found that there was little difference between people with disabilities and other people when comparing levels of productivity.

Myth 5: “People with disabilities are more likely to be at risk of accidents.”

Fact: Studies have shown that employees with disabilities have fewer accidents at work and significantly fewer recorded workers’ compensation incidents.

In a study conducted by the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC) it found that the incidence of occupational injury is lower in people with disabilities and that workers with disabilities were often more aware of safety in the workplace and performed significantly higher than their co-workers without a disability in the area of safety.

Get in touch

Contact our Careers and employability team for more information about how to recruit our students and graduates.

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.

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