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The Active Population in Figures

201820192020
Labour Force 13,253,65613,500,08013,452,598

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
201720182019
Total activity rate 77.51%78.07%78.51%
Men activity rate 82.68%82.95%83.20%
Women activity rate 72.34%73.18%73.82%

Source: International Labour Organization, ILOSTAT database

 
Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labour Force) 2014
Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 15.3%
Human health and social work activities 12.1%
Construction 9.0%
Manufacturing 8.7%
Education 7.9%
Accommodation and food service activities 6.7%
Professional, scientific and technical activities 6.4%
Public administration and defence; compulsory social security 6.3%
Transportation and storage 5.2%
Administrative and support service activities 3.7%
Financial and insurance activities 3.6%
Information and communication 3.3%
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 2.8%
Mining and quarrying 2.2%
Arts, entertainment and recreation 1.9%
Real estate activities 1.5%
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 0.7%
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 0.5%
 

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
38 hours
Retirement Age
There is no legal retirement age. Retirement is negotiated with the employer.
However, employees are authorised to request a pension as follows:
- Men: from 65
- Women: 64.5
Working Contracts
There are two main types of work contracts. These are the permanent and fixed-term contracts. A permanent contract is an individual contract in which an employee is employed on a ongoing basis until their employer ends the relationship. The fixed-term employment contract is similar in terms of employee rights, but ends after a specific period of time or the completion of a task. All Australian employees are entitled to contracts that, at minimum, uphold the rights stipulated in the Fair Work Act of 2009.
Awards are industry-specific standards that stipulate working conditions and minimum-wage rates. Enterprise agreements are tailored to suit particular enterprises. For more information, visit the FWC.
Labour Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labour regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labour

Minimum Wage
The national minimum wage is $753.80 per week, for a 38 hour week, or $19.84 per hour.
Average Wage
In 2019, the average annual wage had reached $ 54,401 in Australia.
Social Contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: A supperannuation fund or retirement savings account contribution of 9.5% of the employee's ordinary time earnings (OTE) base (up to AUD 50,810 per quarter) is paid by employers. This rate is expected to be maintained until 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021, the rate will increase to 10% and will progressively increase up to 12% from 1 July 2025.
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: There are no social security taxes in Australia. However, a levy is imposed on taxable income and reportable fringe benefits of residents for the funding of a National Health Scheme (Medicare). The Medicare levy of 2% applies to residents that qualify for the service.

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
There are about 132 unions in Australia organised by trade associations.
Because of the increase in the proportion of the workforce which is not unionised, the credibility of the unions has diminished over the last few years, but strong relations continue to exist between unions and the Labour Party.
Legal provisions govern work contracts. The 2009 Fair Work Act and other laws passed have insured a national standard of workplace arrangements.
The new system provides a unique ensemble of simple rules, which can be applied nationally. The Workplace Relations Act which includes the new rules for WorkChoices is available for downloading.
The main responsibility of the Fair Work Ombudsman (OEA) is to supervise the enforcement of agreements in the work context. The OEA also provides:
- advice and information for employers and employees who wish to draw up a contract together
- assistance for employers and employees to understand the Australian Fair Pay and Conditions Standard
- it verifies the legitimacy of agreements between employers and employees before they come into force
- it explains the content of agreements to people with specific needs (for example: young people or people from a non-English speaking background).
Unions
Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
Unionisation Rate
In Australia it is not compulsory to join a union. Unions are represented by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU); these represent more than 2 million Australian workers, i.e. 22% of the labour force.
Labour Regulation Bodies
Department of Education, Skills and Employment

Find out more about Operating a Business in Australia on GlobalTrade.net, the Directory for International Trade Service Providers.

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Actualitzacions: May 2022

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