November 7 2023

How to read a pay slip

What is a pay slip and why should I check it?

A pay slip is a written record from your employer showing key information about your pay like your earnings, taxes, and super contributions for a specific pay period.

It’s a legal requirement in Australia for employers to give their employees a pay slip within one working day of their pay day. It can be provided in either digital or paper form, as long as it contains the required information.

It's important to check your pay slips to make sure you're getting paid the correct amount and receiving the right entitlements, like super. 

What should your pay slip include?

Your pay slips can look different depending on where you work, but they should always contain certain details. We break down what’s required in a pay slip, according to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), in the table below.

What your pay slip should include What it means
Your name Identifies who the payment is for
Your employer's name and Australian Business Number (ABN), if applicable Identifies the employer
Pay period The specific days you're getting paid for
Date of payment The day the money is paid into your account
Gross pay The total amount of money you earned before any taxes and deductions are taken out
Net pay The money you actually take home after taxes and other deductions
Any loadings, allowances, bonuses, incentive-based payments, penalty rates or other separately identifiable entitlement Any paid entitlements that can be separated out from an employee’s ordinary hourly or annual rate
If you’re paid an hourly rate
Ordinary hourly rate How much you make in an hour before any extras like superannuation, overtime or bonuses
Number of hours worked at that rate How many hours you worked at your standard rate
Total dollar amount of pay at that rate Your hourly rate times the number of hours you worked
If you’re paid an annual rate of pay (salary)
The rate as at the last day in the pay period Your annual salary excluding any extras like superannuation or bonuses
If this is your last pay slip
The pay rate that applied on the last day of employment What your last pay rate was when you left your job
Amount and details of each deduction Any money taken out from the gross amount for things like taxes or compulsory student debt repayments
Details of where the deduction went Name and number of the fund/account the deduction was paid into
If you’re entitled to the super guarantee from your employer
Amount of super contributions How much money your employer has contributed (or will contribute) to your super for the pay period
Details of super fund The name, or the name and number, of the super fund the contributions were (or will be) made to

Tip: Cross-check your pay slip with your super account

While the correct amount of super contributions may be listed on your payslip, it doesn’t always mean that the money has been contributed to your super fund. To see when and how much was contributed, check your super fund’s app or member portal, or review your annual statements. It should show you all the employer contributions that your employer has paid. Keep in mind that employers are only required to pay super contributions quarterly, so while you should be cross-checking regularly, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on pay day.

Rest members can jump on the Rest App or MemberAccess and see their super balance and employer contributions whenever they want.

What if your employer isn’t providing you with pay slips or if it’s wrong?

If you're not getting pay slips or if they include an error, that could be a problem because employers are legally required to give you pay slips with the right information on time, even if you’re paid in cash. Here are some steps you could take:

  1. Ask your employer – The first step is simple: ask your employer to give you your pay slips or to send you pay slips with the correct information. If you're nervous about this conversation, it can help to prepare for it (see the FWO for some helpful resources). You may also want to take notes in the meeting. And remember, you’re legally entitled to receive your pay slips.
  2. Send them information – Follow up with your employer and send them information about pay slips to remind them of their obligations. There are resources from the FWO you could use.
  3. Give them time – It's important to give your employer some time to fix the issue. The FWO recommends giving your employer seven days to gather any missing pay slips or check their records to provide pay slips with the correct information.
  4. Contact the FWO – If you’ve given your employer the opportunity to make things right, and if the issue still isn’t sorted after waiting seven days, it could be time to reach out to the FWO. Fair Work Inspectors can fine employers found to be doing the wrong thing. They may also be penalised if the FWO chooses to take them to court.

For more information, visit the FWO website.


Tip: Keep a record

Keep a record of the hours you worked. You can jot them down in a diary or use an app to track them. This helps if there's ever a dispute about your pay.
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