Starting a new job

This page is for: 
Employee / worker

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.

Accepting a job

Before you accept a job, make sure that you understand the work arrangements and your pay rates and conditions. You should not accept a job offer where the pay or conditions are less than what is in the relevant WA award – or if no WA award applies, your employer must pay you at least the minimum pay rates for award free employees unless you fall into one of the exclusions listed below:

  • people engaged in providing domestic service, including in-home care, in a private home, where employed directly by the owner or occupier of the home
  • volunteers
  • people who receive a disability support pension and whose employment is supported by supported employment services
  • people paid wholly by commission or piece rates
  • people appointed as wardens under the National Trust of Australia (WA) Act.

Questions to ask your new employer

  • the type business – what does it make, sell or provide?
  • what work will you be doing?
  • where will you be working - in one workplace or different locations?
  • what will you be a paid and how often?
  • is the job full time, part time or casual?
  • is there a probationary period? How long?
  • what are the hours of work?
  • will you be rostered for weekends or public holidays? Are penalty rates paid for this?
  • is the job covered by a WA award? Which one?
  • is training provided?

Key things to know

  • Minimum employment conditions are a safety net - especially for jobs that are not covered by a WA award. There are minimum entitlements to annual leave, sick and carers leave, bereavement leave, long service leave, parental leave and public holidays.
  • WA awards - many jobs are covered by WA awards that are legal documents that set out employee entitlements for particular industries or occupations. 
  • Industrial agreements - larger organisations may have industrial agreements (enterprise agreements) which set pay and conditions for employees.​
  • Pay rates - the employer must pay you correctly for your age and the work you are doing.
  • Resignation - you can leave your job at any time but usually will have to give notice.
  • Union membership - you are free to join a union, or not to join a union.


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