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Payroll and Benefits Guide Australia – South Australia

Last updated: May 02, 2023

Australian Dollar (AUD)
Employer Taxes
Payroll Frequency
Bi-Monthly / Monthly / Bi-weekly
Employee Costs
Date Format
Fiscal Year
1 July - 30 June
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Employer Employer Payroll Contributions
Payroll Tax (applies to companies where the total monthly wages exceeds 1,500,000 AUD)
Accident Insurance
Superannuation (applied on salary up to 25,292.4 AUD per year)
16.95% Total Employment Cost
Employee Employee Payroll Contributions  
2% Medicare Levy
2% Total Employee Cost
Employee Employee Income Tax
0 AUD – 18,200 AUD
18,201 AUD – 45,000 AUD
45,001 AUD – 120,000 AUD
120,001 AUD – 180,000 AUD
180,001 AUD and over

*This table does not include an additional Medicare levy surcharge of between 1.00% and 1.50% applies to certain higher-income taxpayers who are not covered by health insurance for private patient hospital cover.

Employer taxes


Employee taxes


Minimum Wage

As of July 2023, the Fair Work Commission confirmed the national minimum wage in Australia as 23.23 AUD per hour, 882.80 AUD per month for a full-time award-free adult employee who is not an apprentice or a trainee. Each classification level has a different minimum pay rate. As of July 2023, Modern award minimum wages will also increase by 5.75%.
Most states fall under the Fair Work Act 2009 and work to the national minimum wage, however, there may still be some exceptions for state or local government employees.




Payroll Cycle

Employees in Australia are employed on contracts that stipulate the pay cycle, and although there are part-time, casual, and independent contractor pay types with set pay cycles, the most common are:

Monthly payroll (with payment due by the last day of the month)
Bi-weekly payroll (with payments due every second week on a set day, usually mid-week, Wednesday, or Thursday)
Bi-monthly payroll (with payment due on the 15th and the 30th, respectively)

13th Salary

There is no legislation for 13th-month payments in Australia.

Authority Payments

Authority Payment  Dates Methods
ATO Small withholders up to AUD: 25,000 pa – 28 days from quarter end
Medium withholders AUD 25,001- 1000,000 pa- 21 days from EOM
Large withholders >100,000 pa – Monday/Thursday about 1 week from payment
EFT/BPAY/Australia Post – can use wire as well
Workers compensation Annually BPAY
Super Funds
Monthly or quarterly.
If quarterly, 28th day after the end of the each quarter
Direct Debit/EFT/BPAY
NSW Office of State Revenue
Payroll tax
7th of the following month.
21st of July if annual
Direct Debit/BPAY
VIC State Revenue Office
Payroll tax
7th of the following month.
21st of July if annual
Direct Debit/BPAY
QLD Office of State Revenue
Payroll tax
7th of the following month
14th of January of bi-annual
21st of July if annual
TAS Office of State Revenue
Payroll tax
7th of the following month.
21st of July if annual
Revenue SA
Payroll tax
7th of the following month.
21st of July if annual
NT Office of State Revenue
Payroll tax
7th of the following month.
21st of July if annual

Working Hours


The National Employment Standards (NES) sets the maximum number of working hours at 38 hours a week; this applies to all employees covered by the national workplace relations system, regardless of any award, agreement, or contract.


All overtime requests must be agreed upon between the employee and the employer. Employers need to provide an assessment of whether additional hours are “reasonable” before approving overtime. Overtime rates are generally set within the contract, most commonly 200.00% of the regular salary pay rate for the first 3 hours of overtime and 150.00% of the typical salary pay rate thereafter.


Annual Leave (vacation)

All employees (except for casual employees) get paid annual leave as stipulated by The National Employment Standards (NES) contained in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). In general, all employees are entitled to a minimum of 4 weeks (20 working days) paid leave (5 weeks for shift workers). The NES states that awards, contracts/agreements cannot contain any less than this minimum, but they can contain a greater number of days.
The NES also states that if the period during which an employee takes annual leave includes a public holiday, a period of another kind of leave (including sick leave, personal leave, etc.), that time is not regarded as annual leave. Annual leave is paid at the same rate as the regular salary rate, but where there are exceptions within the employee’s award/contract/workplace agreement, there can be an additional annual leave payment due of up to 17.50%.
In addition, each state in Australia has an entitlement for employees to have long service leave for South Australia. This leave is 13 weeks after the first ten years of service, with 1.3 weeks’ leave for each full year of service after the initial ten years.

Public Holidays

Public holidays that fall on the weekend are moved to a weekday as a day off in lieu. South Australia has a part-day public holiday for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve from 7 pm to 12 midnight.

Date Day Holiday Notes
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
26 Jan 2024 Friday Australia Day
11 Mar 2024 Monday Adelaide Cup Day Subject to proclamation
29 Mar 2024 Friday Good Friday
1 Apr 2024 Monday Easter Monday
25 Apr 2024 Thursday Anzac Day
10 Jun 2024 Monday King’s Birthday
7 Oct 2024 Monday Labour Day
24 Dec 2024 Tuesday Christmas Eve 7pm-midnight
Part-day public holiday
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day
26 Dec 2024 Thursday Boxing Day
31 Dec 2024 Tuesday New Year’s Eve 7pm-midnight
Part-day public holiday


Sick Days

The NES entitles permanent employees to 10 days paid sick leave and two days of paid compassionate leave per year (personal/carers leave). This is funded by the employer.
An employee may take this paid personal/carer’s leave if they are unfit for work because of their own personal illness or injury or provide care or support to a member of their immediate family.

Maternity Leave

See parental leave below.

Paternity Leave

See Maternity Leave above.

Family/Parental Leave

The paid parental leave provides financial support to eligible working parents of newborn or recently adopted children. Parental leave is up to 20 weeks. The leave may be taken by either parent at the time of birth, adoption, or surrogacy. Each partner is required to take at least 2 weeks An employee is not entitled to parental leave under the NES unless they have 12 months of continuous service or are a “long-term casual employee.” The casual employee must have been employed regularly and systematically for at least 12 months.

Parental leave is paid by the government at the national minimum weekly wage rate.
Employers can also provide for paid parental leave in registered agreements, employment contracts, and workplace policies which do not affect the employee’s eligibility for the Australian government’s paid parental leave scheme so the employee can be paid both.
In addition, employees who have worked for more than 12 months are entitled to at least 12 months of unpaid parental leave if the employee is or will be responsible for caring for a child or adopted child under 16 years old.

From 6 June 2023, parents who request unpaid leave for a period greater than 12 months will have a stronger right to request an extension of unpaid parental leave. If an employee has already taken 12 months of unpaid leave, they can request a further 12 months of unpaid leave (24 months in total). This is provided that their partner has not already taken 12 months of unpaid leave.

All salary payments are initially made by the employer and later reimbursed by the government.

Other Leave

The NES stipulates employees are entitled to be absent from work for three main reasons related to community service activities.
Employees receive payment for jury service, employees receive jury service pay from the government and employers then top this up to their usual pay for up to 10 days at the rates set.
Voluntary emergency management activity is unpaid leave. Community service is also unpaid leave.
The leave period includes reasonable travel and rest time before and following the eligible activity, and the employee must aim to provide as much prior notice and information as possible.

Vacation Days
Public Holidays




Termination Process

There are several complex laws relating to termination processes in Australia. To ensure the correct process is followed, employers must adhere to the four key areas below to ensure the termination of an employee for the right reasons.

  • Capacity – if an employee lacks the ability or capacity to complete the job
  • Performance – unsatisfactory performance of the employee, which is outlined clearly to the employee with the opportunity for them to rectify their conduct
  • Misconduct – failing to adhere to workplace standards, or if the employee is involved in serious misconduct
  • Redundancy – if the job the employee is completing is no longer necessary for the business, or technological change has made their role unnecessary

Employees must have completed six months of service (12 months for a small company) before they can make an unfair dismissal claim.
An additional legal requirement for the employer is to provide the employee with an employment termination letter that must include confirmation of:

  • the reason for the termination
  • the date of the employee’s last day of work
  • the fixed number of payments/entitlements etc., and any unpaid wages the employee will receive as final pay

Notice Period

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) stipulates that the minimum notice periods for termination varies with the employee’s length of service as below:

  • Less than 12 months of employment: 1 week’s notice
  • 1-3 years of employment: 2 weeks’ notice
  • 3-5 years of employment: 3 weeks’ notice
  • 5 + years of employment: 4 weeks’ notice

In addition, if an employee is over 45 years of age and has completed at least two years’ continuous service, there is a requirement for an additional week of notice.
However, it is common practice in Australia for the award/contract/workplace agreement to have a more extended period of notice than the minimum requirement; this is commonly four weeks’ notice. Despite the minimum notice periods provided in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), employees who have no notice period specified in their contract of employment may be entitled to what is called in Australia “a reasonable period of notice”.
The reasonable period of notice will set a notice period of greater than the norm, and minimum, for employees with long lengths of service and/or where equivalent jobs/skills are in short supply.

Severance Pay

The entitlement to severance as a result of termination because of redundancy is based on a sliding scale and calculated by reference to the length of the employee’s period of continuous service on termination.

Period of continuous service Pay
Less than 12 months of service 0
12 months to less than 2 years of service 4 weeks’ pay
2 years of service to less than 3 years of service 6 weeks’ pay
3 years of service to less than 4 years of service 7 weeks’ pay
4 years of service to less than 5 years of service 8 weeks’ pay
5 years of service to less than 6 years of service 10 weeks’ pay
6 years of service to less than 7 years of service 11 weeks’ pay
7 years of service to less than 8 years of service 13 weeks’ pay
8 years of service to less than 9 years of service 14 weeks’ pay
9 years of service to less than 10 years of service 16 weeks’ pay
10 years and over 12 weeks’ pay

There are some exceptions to this entitlement. An employment contract, enterprise agreement, or modern award may also specify a greater entitlement.

Probation Period

The commonly used probation period is three to six months (12 months for a small company), although this can be less or more as stated in the award/contract/workplace agreement.
The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) does not refer to a specific probation period. It stipulates that the award/contract/workplace agreement must clearly specify the period of probation set and how and when performance is to be reviewed.



Under the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994, employers have a legal obligation to ensure all employees have the right to work in Australia. Even if they already live in Australia and are not Australian citizens, they may be permanent residents or New Zealand citizens on a special class of visa that allows them to remain in Australia indefinitely or have a temporary visa. All these types of visas need to be checked regularly by the employer via the Department of Home Affairs’ online verification system, the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO).

If employers cannot find the appropriate person with the required skills/experience for a job, applications can be made to sponsor workers temporarily or permanently. However, skilled workers must generally be included on the “Skilled Occupations List,” and the length of sponsorship is set by the length of time in the sponsored visa.

There are several ways to sponsor a skilled foreign worker:

  • Sponsor a skilled worker for permanent migration through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).
  • Sponsor a worker on a temporary visa through the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), which allows overseas people to come to Australia to work for up to 4 years.
  • Take over the sponsorship of temporary migrants already in Australia on skilled work visas.
  • Enter a labor agreement that allows you to employ several overseas skilled workers on a permanent or temporary basis by entering a formal labor agreement with the Australian government if the job is not on the Skilled Occupations List.

Remote Work

The Australian government passed the “Secure Jobs, Better Pay” Act legislation that introduces the right for workers to request flexible working arrangements to include no just those who have a disability and those who are aged 55 and older but also to employees who are pregnant and those who have experienced family or domestic violence.
Employers will be required to meet with employees to discuss their flexible work arrangement requests. Employers will need to evaluate such requests and try to accommodate the requests including offering alternative arrangements. If the employer and employee cannot reach an agreement, then an employer is entitled to reject the request on reasonable business grounds. The employer should provide a written explanation of the reasons for refusal within 21 days of receiving the request.
Employees will be allowed to apply to the Fair Works Commission (FWC) to challenge an employer’s refusal or a failure to respond to a flexible work arrangement request. The FWC will have the power to conciliate and arbitrate, including ordering employers to provide additional explanation, granting the employee’s request, or ordering alternative arrangements to accommodate the request.



The standard rate of GST in Australia is 10.00%.

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

June 29, 2022
Payroll tax increased to 5.45%.
Superannuation increased to 10.50%.
The national minimum wage in Australia is now 21.38 AUD per hour and 812.44 AUD per month.

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Payroll and Benefits Guide
in Australia – South Australia

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

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Public Holidays Calendar

Australia – South Australia
Date Day Holiday Notes
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
26 Jan 2024 Friday Australia Day
11 Mar 2024 Monday Adelaide Cup Day Subject to proclamation
29 Mar 2024 Friday Good Friday
1 Apr 2024 Monday Easter Monday
25 Apr 2024 Thursday Anzac Day
10 Jun 2024 Monday King’s Birthday
7 Oct 2024 Monday Labour Day
24 Dec 2024 Tuesday Christmas Eve 7pm-midnight
Part-day public holiday
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day
26 Dec 2024 Thursday Boxing Day
31 Dec 2024 Tuesday New Year’s Eve 7pm-midnight
Part-day public holiday