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Working in Australia

Australians have a great balance when it comes to work and play. In the summer particularly people tend to start work earlier so they can finish before it gets too hot. You also have the FIFO (fly in fly out) employees working at the mines. They will be working on various swings where they will spend for example 3 weeks away and 1 week at home.

In a lot of cases you can earn substantially more money than in the UK doing the same job in Australia. However, it’s not all about the money. Australia has other benefits that MUST be offered to employees called National Employment Standards. The 10 NES are:

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

The National Minimum Wage in Australia is $19.49 per hour which equates to around £10.16. That is £1.44 per hour more than in the UK (correct from April 2020).

So let’s take a look at a few salary comparisons:
• An experienced recruitment consultant in the UK can expect to earn around £30,000 per year which equates to roughly $58,000. In Australia the average recruitment consultant salary is circa $75,000 per year.
• A supermarket worker in the UK will earn on average £8.60 per hour, equating to $16.64 per hour whilst in Australia a job at Woolworths could get you over $21 per hour!
• Builders in the UK are earning an average of £15 per hour which is $29 per hour, and in Australia they could expect to earn $51 per hour.

The numbers speak for themselves, the earning potential is definitely a lot greater in Australia than in the UK and the beauty of it is you can “try before you buy”. If making the leap across the very big pond is a little too scary why not dip your toe in the water and get a 12 month working holiday visa. If you are aged 18-30 and hold a valid passport you can travel to Australia for an extended holiday and work to help fund your trip. There are some rules around this so do your research before you go. For example if you do 3 months of specified work (broadly speaking this is agricultural or construction work) you can extend this for a second year.

And maybe if you love it enough…….. Extend it for a third!

About the Author: 16 years ago my parents and siblings immigrated to Australia. I have visited 12 times over the years and contemplated making the move myself many a time, including taking a 12 month working holiday visa. Now married and with a son of my own my roots are firmly planted in the UK but we take it in turns as a family to hop across the pond to visit each other.

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Surrey, UK to Sydney, Australia - December 2020

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