Gen United

How to tell if your boss is ripping you off

In this blog we’ll be covering:
💰 Why are payslips important?
💰 What are the laws around record keeping?
💰 How to tell if you’re being ripped off

Reading time

7 minutes

Published on

Payslips aren’t just visual clutter. They’re proof of your earnings and entitlements.

Payslips are records of your tax and super, whether you have holidays or sick leave owing – and if your boss is paying you properly!

They might be dull, but payslips are important. Here’s why...

Payslips are a legal requirement. If you run a small business, a big business, a not-for-profit, a government agency – whatever it is! – proper records of workers are compulsory. Employers use them to keep track of their costs and to claim tax breaks for themselves. 

For workers, they’re a checklist of how much you’re paid per hour, how many hours you worked in the pay period, how much super is owing, how much leave you have accrued and if you have any sick leave.

What should be on my payslip?

Watch the below video 👇 to see what should be included on your payslip (as set out by Fair Work) 

When should I get my payslip?

At the very latest, you should get your payslip the next day after payday. Sometimes you’ll get it just before it goes into your bank, or at the same time. (It can depend on your bank, how long after receiving your payslip you can withdraw money.) 

How should I get it?

It can be via email, or an actual piece of paper (groan!) – maybe tell your boss if you have a preference. 

What’s the difference between net and gross income?

Gross income is the amount you earn before the government takes out the tax. Net income is what you get in your pocket, after the tax on your wage has been taken out.

You can find tax rates on the ATO website here. If you’re on a low income (under $18k) you should not be paying any tax. If you’re earning over $18,201, you’ll be taxed at the lowest rate, which is 19 per cent. 

How much super should I be paid?

The super guarantee is 11 per cent. This is the minimum your employer is required to pay on your behalf. It must be paid into your preferred super account, or the employer’s default super account at least four times per year. It’s up to you to check if your super has been paid. 

Who is eligible for superannuation payments?

If you’re over 18, your employer must pay the super guarantee on the hours you have worked. If you’re under 18 and work more than 30 hours per week, you are also eligible for the super guarantee. 

ME: Record keeping is boring. This payslip’s going straight in the trash. 

Also ME: I wish I’d kept records so that I knew I was being ripped off! 

What if I’m a casual?

Part-time, full-time, casual – if you’re employed by someone other than yourself, you’re eligible for the super guarantee. 

How to tell if your boss is ripping you off

It can be hard to work out whether or not you’re being paid the correct hourly rate for your award, contract or agreement, or to calculate if the correct amount of super or tax is being paid.  

If you don’t understand your payslip, you can ask your employer to explain it to you and how it’s calculated. After all, it’s money you’ve earned.  

If you don’t get the answers you need, and you think your payslip is dodgy, you can ask your union or union delegate for advice.

Cash is dodgy!

If you’re being paid cash, chances are your employer is not keeping (legally required!) records of your pay. Major red flag! 


Did you know? If you work for a not-for-profit, you may be eligible for salary sacrifice on living expenses. More info here 

Are you ready to test your payslip knowledge?

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