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Work rights and responsibility 

When you are on a student visa, you are entitled to work:

  • Up to 20 hours a week during term time
  • Full-time during scheduled holidays

If you are a Masters by research or PhD student, you may work full-time even during your course of study.

When it comes to working rights, international students have the same rights as local Australian. So if you feel that you have been exploited and not fairly treated at work, you can contact Fairwork Ombudsman to discuss your situation.

Fairwork is a governing body that looks after the workers in Australia. Below are some of the basic rights that you are entitled to working in Australia.

From 1 January 2010, all employees in the national workplace relations system receive 10 basic minimum entitlements known as the National Employment Standards (NES). The NES include:

  • Maximum weekly hours of work
  • Requests for flexible working arrangements
  • Parental leave and related entitlements
  • Annual leave
  • Personal/carer’s leave and compassionate leave
  • Community service leave
  • Long service leave
  • Public holidays
  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay
  • Provision of a Fair Work Information Statement


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