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Awards and wages

An award is a legal document that sets out the terms and conditions of employment for a specific industry or job. They define things like minimum wages, overtime, penalty rates and allowances.

Employment Standards

If you work in state or local government in Queensland, the 9 Queensland Employment Standards provide your minimum conditions of employment. Read more about the standards.

If you work in the private sector in Queensland, the National Employment Standards (the standards) set out 10 minimum working standards for employees, including:

The conditions in awards (or enterprise agreements) have to be the same or better than those defined in the standards. (Enterprise agreements include specific conditions for one workplace. Modern awards set out minimum conditions for a whole industry or type of job.)

Read fact sheets about the standards explaining how they apply. 

Modern awards

Modern awards cover most private sector workplaces in Queensland and set out minimum conditions for employees and employers who work in the same industry or occupation.

In the public sector, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission is now working with employer and employee representatives to modernise 80-plus awards. Read about award modernisation in the Queensland public sector.

Find your award

There are more than 100 awards covering various private sector occupations and industries in Australia. To find the modern award covering your private secrot job in Queensland:

You can also view details and a full list of all modern awards (that started on 1 January 2010) through the:

For a Queensland or local government award:

What if I don't have an award?

Private sector employees who do not have an award often have an enterprise agreement or employment contract instead.

If an award does not apply to your private sector job, the National Employment Standards together with the national minimum wage will form the minimum standards for your employment.

If you are a Queensland or local government employee, contact your human resources team for information about your employment conditions.


Most private sector wages in Queensland are controlled by modern awards, and will vary from job to job.

For advice about your wages as a Queensland or local government employee, contact your human resources team.    

Rates of pay

There are various ways to find the right pay rate for a private sector job, including:

The national minimum wage sets out the lowest rate of pay for private sector employees not covered by awards or agreements.

For advice about your wages as a Queensland or local government employee, contact your human resources team.

Additional pay entitlements

Under modern awards, private sector employees may be eligible for extra pay through penalty rates, overtime or allowances.

For advice about your wages as a Queensland or local government employee, contact your human resources team.

Pay slips

Your employer must give you a pay slip each time you are paid.

Check what information should be on your pay slip.

If you work for a Queensland or local government, go to the Industrial Relations Act 1999 and check s370 for information about your pay slip.

Related links

Private sector

Public sector


For businesses

You have obligations as an employer to make sure your employees receive their rightful entitlements, including paying your staff:

  • the right amount of pay
  • paid leave
  • superannuation.

Rights for specific groups

Everyone has the right to be treated fairly at work. Learn about the working conditions and rights for:

Unclaimed money

If you were involved in a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation or audit with a previous employer, they might not have been allowed to contact you to give you any outstanding wages.

Search the unclaimed wages database for money that could be yours.

Last updated
25 September 2014

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