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8 things I wish I’d known before moving to Australia on a working holiday visa


If you’re working legally in Australia, you’re entitled to the minimum wage. Whether you’re working at a farm or in a restaurant, you should receive at least $18.93 an hour  (£10.72 or 13.75 US$), which compares very favourably with many other countries.

There’s another potential bonus, too, for travellers looking for flexible work. If you’re a ‘casual’ employee, ie. one with no fixed, guaranteed working hours, you’re entitled to a ‘casual loading.’ This adds 25% onto your hourly rate, bringing your minimum wage up to $23.66. Not bad for a ‘tourist!’

As you probably know, in order for working holiday visa holders to get their second year visa, they must complete some form of agricultural work. People assume that this means fruit picking in the blazing sun, but there are plenty of other options out there, from cooking, to cleaning to mining.

You may have also heard a few horror stories surrounding the dangerous exploitation of Working Holiday Makers by unscrupulous farmers. Corruption and illegal abuses still continue, but the government has been cracking down in recent years. Check out the Visa bureau website for Specified Work Listings so you know the place that you work operates everything safely and fairly.


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