FAQs about pay

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EmployerEmployee / worker

wa_image_small.jpg This information is only relevant to employers and employees in the WA state industrial relations system – sole traders, unincorporated partnerships, unincorporated trusts and some incorporated or not for profit organisations. Find out more on the Guide to who is in the WA state system page.

If you operate or are employed by a Pty Ltd business – you can find information on this topic on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.

Frequently asked questions about pay

Payment arrangements

An employee is entitled to be paid in full and payment is to be made:

  • in cash; or
  • by cheque, postal order or money order payable to the employee; or
  • by payment into an account, specified by the employee, with a bank or financial institution; or
  • in any other manner authorised or required under the WA award or contract of employment.

Some WA awards require employers to make payment of wages in certain ways, such as electronic funds transfer. Check any specific requirements in the applicable WA award about methods of paying wages.

Payment in goods, accommodation or services prohibited

Provisions in the Minimum Conditions of Employment Act dealing with the payment of wages prevent an employer from directly or indirectly compelling an employee to accept goods, accommodation or other services of any kind instead of money as any part of the employee’s pay.

Enforcement action can be taken in the Industrial Magistrates Court against an employer who fails to pay an employee in full. It can impose a penalty of up to $13,000 (or $130,000 in the case of a serious contravention) for individuals or a penalty of up to $65,000 (or $650,000 in the case of a serious contravention) for bodies corporate.

Compelling employees to spend or pay an amount is prohibited

An employer must not directly or indirectly require an employee to spend, or pay to the employer or another person, an amount of the employee’s money or the whole or any part of an amount payable to the employee in relation to the performance of work, if

  • the requirement is unreasonable in the circumstances; and
  • in the case of a payment — the payment is directly or indirectly for the benefit of the employer or a party related to the employer.

A term of a WA award or contract of employment has no effect to the extent that the term permits this situation to occur, or directly or indirectly requires an employee to spend or pay an amount, if the requirement would be prohibited had it been made by an employer.

A prospective employer must not directly or indirectly require a prospective employee to spend, or pay to the prospective employer or any other person, an amount of the prospective employee’s money if:

  • the requirement is in connection with employment or potential employment of the prospective employee by the prospective employer; and
  • the requirement is unreasonable in the circumstances; and
  • in the case of a payment — the payment is directly or indirectly for the benefit of the prospective employer or a party related to the prospective employer.

Do employees have to be paid for attending meetings or training?

If the meeting or training course is required as part of the employee’s job, it is considered to be work and must be paid in the normal way.

What happens if an employee believes there has been an underpayment?

For information on making a complaint about underpayment of wages, please visit the Making a complaint about underpayment of wages or entitlements page or contact Wageline

Please contact Wageline if you have additional questions about ensuring payments are correct. 

Record keeping

All state system employers are legally required to keep employment records that detail time worked, leave taken and pay received by employees.

Learn more on the Employment records - Employer obligations page

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