Employment and Taxation

The Australian labour market can be very competitive. How quickly new arrivals can find a job in Australia depends on economic factors, qualifications and skills, the type of work sought and particular circumstances which may affect the availability of certain types of work in different parts of the country.

Before leaving for Australia, migrants should find out about work prospects and if any special conditions or requirements apply to the work they want to do. For many jobs in Australia, applicants must be able to be registered or licensed with an Australian state or territory authority and/or be eligible for membership of a professional or industry body.

Pay and working conditions for workers in Australia can be set by:

  • an award
  • a statutory agreement (Australian Workplace Agreement or Collective Agreement) or
  • a common law agreement.

In Australia, all jobs and professions are open to men and women. There are laws to protect workers against unfair treatment or discrimination based on their gender, race, disability, religion or sexual orientation. Equal Employment Opportunity laws require workplaces to ensure that career opportunities, advancement and training are based on worker’s merit, skills and experience rather than preferential treatment or discrimination.

Under Australian law, employees can choose to join (or not join) a trade union. National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) can help if you are a professional trained outside of Australia and a permanent resident.

Specific job–related and skills recognition information is available on the following websites:

  • Employment prospects, skills shortages and careers in Australia www.jobsearch.gov.au.
  • The Australian workplace www.workplace.gov.au.
  • Skilled migration www.skilledmigrant.gov.au.
  • Recognition of trade qualifications www.workplace.gov.au/tra.
  • AEI–NOOSR www.aei.dest.gov.au.


All Australians are required to pay taxes on their income when it exceeds a certain amount each year. Taxable income includes a salary from a job, business earnings and interest earned on money deposited in a bank or from other investments.

Most goods and services have a small tax built into the price you will pay. This is known as the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Taxes collected by the Australian Government are used to provide welfare services, health services, defence and infrastructure, such as major roads. States and territories also collect taxes (called stamp duties) on certain transactions and services. This money is used to pay for state and territory services and infrastructure, such as police forces, hospitals and state and local roads.

The Australian tax year runs from 1 July to 30 June. Under Australian law, most people are required to lodge a tax return each year, containing details of all income earned from all sources and taxes paid. In most cases, tax is deducted directly by employers from each salary payment and paid to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).


Superannuation is a savings programme that helps workers to have money to live on when they retire. Almost every employed person in Australia must join a superannuation fund and employers are required by law to contribute to an employee’s super fund. This is known as the Employer Superannuation Guarantee contribution. Further information on superannuation and taxation is available from the Australian Taxation Office.

Telephone: 132 861
Online: www.ato.gov.au

Source: Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection

IMPORTANT: This information is accurate only at the time of publication.

About the Author Emma Drynan MARN0960361

Emma is the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. She is extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because she's a product of a partner visa family.

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