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My final pay – how much should I get?

Generally, when employment comes to end, you will receive one final pay with your outstanding wages and entitlements. It can be confusing figuring out what your final pay should include. This fact sheet will explain the different kinds of payments you may be entitled to.

This fact sheet gives general information about minimum entitlements for South Australian residents. You may be entitled to different or higher payments depending on your employment contract, registered Enterprise Agreement or Award, and legislation applicable to your State or Territory.


Your workplace entitlements

You can find out what your final pay should include by looking at your Award, Enterprise Agreement or employment contract.

  • Awards are legal documents that outline the minimum pay rates and conditions of employment for a particular industry or job type. The minimum rates and conditions in an Award are set by the Fair Work Commission. You can find your Award on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Award Finder Tool.
  • Enterprise agreements are documents that contain pay and conditions negotiated between employees and employers, often with the help of unions. To be approved by the Fair Work Commission, they should contain better conditions and entitlements overall than an employee would be entitled to under an Award. You can check if your workplace has an Enterprise Agreement on the Fair Work Commission’s website.
  • If you have an employment contract, it can also contain further entitlements to pay or leave.



When should I get paid? 

Your Award or contract might specify when your final pay should be made, but generally this should occur within 7 days of the end of your employment. You should be provided a pay slip within one working day of the payment being made.  



Your final pay should include:  



You should receive your wages for hours you have worked, including any applicable penalty rates or allowances.  

Annual leave 

If you are a permanent employee, you should get paid out for any annual leave you have accrued, but not taken, including annual leave loading if applicable.  

Your annual leave is generally paid out according to your base rate of pay. The base rate of pay doesn’t include any allowances, penalty rates, or bonuses.  

Again, check your Award, agreement or contract as it may include a greater entitlement, for example, to your ordinary rate of pay. 

If you work your notice period, your final payment should include the accrual of annual leave for this period. However if you are paid notice in lieu, instead of working your notice period, your annual leave will be calculated to your last day of work. 


What is notice?  

A notice period is the length of time that an employee or employer has to give to end employment. Not all employees have to give notice – for example, casual employees do not have to give notice when ending their employment.  

Notice in lieu 

If you and your employer have agreed that you don’t have to work your notice period, you should get paid the amount of notice you are entitled to under your contract or Award.  

If you have resigned, and haven’t given correct notice, your employer could be entitled to withhold payment equivalent to the period you haven’t worked, or one week’s notice, depending on your Award, agreement or contract.  


Long service leave 

Pro-rata long service leave 

If you have worked for more than 7 years for your employer, you may be entitled to be paid out your pro-rata long service leave.  

This is calculated at 1.3 weeks per year of service.  

If you have resigned and haven’t given correct notice, or if you have been terminated for serious and wilful misconduct, you are not entitled to payment for your pro-rata long service leave. (Check your local State or Territory legislation if you live outside of SA). 


Long service leave 

After you have completed 10 years of service, you are entitled to 13 weeks of long service leave. For each year you work over 10 years, you are entitled to a further 1.3 weeks.  


Accrual for part time and casual workers 

Accrual is the same as full time workers, however the payment is based on your ordinary hours worked per week. If your hours have varied, your payment is based on  your average weekly hours over the previous 3 years of service.  

You do not accrue long service leave during unpaid parental leave, or any other unpaid leave.  




If you don’t believe your redundancy is genuine, contact us or your union for advice. 

If you have been made redundant, you may also be entitled to a redundancy payment. Redundancy is paid in addition to notice in lieu.  

A redundancy payment is based on your continuous period of service with your employer, and is paid at your base rate of pay for your ordinary hours of work.  

Generally, periods of casual employment do not count toward your period of service, unless your Award of Agreement states otherwise. 

The following redundancy payments generally apply:  

Period of continuous service  Redundancy pay 
At least 1 year but less than 2 years  4 weeks 
At least 2 years but less than 3 years  6 weeks 
At least 3 years but less than 4 years  7 weeks 
At least 4 years but less than 5 years  8 weeks 
At least 5 years but less than 6 years  10 weeks 
At least 6 years but less than 7 years  11 weeks 
At least 7 years but less than 8 years  13 weeks 
At least 8 years but less than 9 years  14 weeks 
At least 9 years but less than 10 years  16 weeks 
At least 10 years  12 weeks 


Make sure you check your Agreement to check for any greater entitlement.  


When is redundancy not paid?  

You are not entitled to a redundancy if you your employment falls into the below categories:  

  • Your continuous service is less than 12 months 
  • You are employed under a contract for a stated period of time, a certain task, or an identified season 
  • If you have been dismissed for serious misconduct 
  • You are a casual employee 
  • You are an apprentice, or you are a trainee employed for the length of the traineeship agreement. 

You may also not be entitled to redundancy if your employment ends due to the “ordinary and customary turn over of labour”. This means that it is common and usual in your industry for employment to end this way. Call us or your union for further advice.  


Small business exception 

Sometimes redundancy payments are not payable by small businesses. A small business is defined by the number of employees (including yourself) at the time of the redundancy. A small business is a business of 15 or less employees. These 15 employees include 

  • Include regular and systematic casual employees 
  • Include employees of associated entities.  

Check your Award or enterprise agreement to see if different redundancy provisions apply. If you’re unsure whether you have been paid the correct entitlement, or have other questions about the redundancy process, contact us or your Union for advice.  


Expense claims 

If you are owed money by your employer to reimburse you for expenses you have incurred, make sure you follow your employer’s procedures to have these claims finalised and paid to you in your final pay.  


Your final pay may not include:  


Personal leave 

Sick leave or personal leave is not paid out, unless your contract or Agreement states otherwise. 


Flex leave / time off in lieu 

Check your contract or enterprise agreement for any entitlement to be paid out time you have accrued under a flex-time or time-off-in-lieu arrangement.  


What about super?  

Superannuation should be paid on any payment you receive in lieu of notice, as these are hours you would have worked and earned superannuation.  

Superannuation is not payable on any payments for unused annual leave, sick leave or long service leave.  

It is good practice to check that all other superannuation you are owed from your employment has been paid. Check your balance and all the ATO for more advice.  


What do I do if I haven’t been paid everything I’m owed? 

Firstly, discuss the issue with your employer, as it may just be a mistake or oversight. It is a good idea to write to your employer, so that you have evidence of the discussion.  

If your employer does not respond or if you cannot agree with them about the amount owing, read our Fact Sheet on Underpayments [link] to find out how to formally write a letter of demand to your employer and, if the matter remains unresolved, lodge an underpayment claim in the South Australian Employment Tribunal.  

Call us or get in touch with your Union for further advice on your situation.  

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