How does 7-Eleven’s pay compare to other employers?

Angus Kidman 31 August 2015

7-Eleven is under fire for worker exploitation, but there are career paths where the entry-level wages are worse.

Some franchisees for convenience store giant 7-Eleven have come up with a novel way to cut their wages bills: asking student employees for work 40 hours a week but only paying them for 20 hours, according to a joint investigation by Fairfax media and the ABC.

International students on study visas are generally restricted to 20 hours of paid work a week. Franchisees have asked students to work a full week but only paid them for 20 hours, effectively halving their casual pay rate of $24 an hour to $12, which is well below the Australian legal minimum wage of $17.29 an hour. The problem is apparently widespread, with 69% of 7-Eleven stores having payroll problems in this area.

Australian workplace satisfaction and salary analysis – who's got it best and how can you get a job there?

But you could get even less . . .

That leads to a broader question: what are the lowest-paid entry-level jobs in Australia? To answer that question, we've compiled data on the minimum wage for entry-level workers across dozens of Australian industries, based on the general industry awards as tracked by the Fair Work Ombudsman

Retail jobs don't pay particularly well, with a minimum rate of $18.99 for full-time staff. Anyone employed as a casual must receive a minimum 25% loading, which takes the hourly rate up to $23.74.

However, there are dozens of jobs which only pay the legal minimum wage of $17.29 an hour ($21.61 for casuals). If you work in seafood processing, as a real estate trainee, in a stable or in hospitality, that's all you can expect to get as an entry-level worker.

Similar jobs don't necessarily pay them the same. You'll earn more to work in a cemetery ($18.06 an hour) than in a funeral home ($17.29 an hour). You'll get more for emptying bins ($20.52) than for working in a bank ($18.38). Check the full list below (you can click on the table headings to sort by wage).

What entry-level jobs pay in Australia

JobPay/hour Casual/hour
Aboriginal health worker$19.20$24.00
Aged care$18.38$22.98
Airline cabin crew$19.74$24.68
Airline ground staff$18.68$23.35
Aluminum worker$18.83$23.54
Alpine resort worker$17.79$22.24
Ambulance officer (student)$21.21$26.51
Amusement park worker$17.29$21.61
Aquaculture attendant$17.29$21.61
Armoured vehicle driver$20.09$25.11
Asphalt worker$18.83$23.54
Banking$18.38$22.98
Black coal mining$21.28$26.60
Book editor$21.01$26.26
Building$19.72$24.65
Business equipment maintenance$17.76$22.20
Call centre$18.74$23.43
Car parking$18.21$22.76
Cement worker$18.76$23.45
Cemetery$18.06$22.58
Children's services$17.68$22.10
Cleaning$18.46$23.08
Clerks$18.38$22.98
Coal export terminal$19.75$24.69
Commercial sales$18.18$22.73
Cotton ginning$18.13$22.66
Custodial officer$17.94$22.43
Dive instructor$19.98$24.98
Dredging$19.31$24.14
Dry cleaning$17.29$21.61
Electrical$18.28$22.85
Farm worker$17.29$21.61
Fast food$18.99$23.74
Fire fighter$18.02$22.53
Fitness trainer$17.29$21.61
Food manufacturing$17.29$21.61
Funeral industry$17.29$21.61
Gardening$17.29$21.61
Gas$17.94$22.43
General retail$18.99$23.74
Graduate professional$22.48$28.10
Graphic arts$17.29$21.61
Hair and beauty$18.99$23.74
Health support services$18.38$22.98
Home care$18.80$23.50
Horticulture$17.29$21.61
Hospitality$17.29$21.61
Joinery$18.04$22.55
Journalist$21.96$27.45
Legal clerk$19.29$24.11
Local government$18.48$23.10
Manufacturing$17.29$21.61
Marine towage$21.41$26.76
Market research$18.11$22.64
Meat industry$17.29$21.61
Mining$18.66$23.33
Mobile crane operator$21.28$26.60
Modelling$19.07$23.84
Nursery$17.29$21.61
Nurses$18.87$23.59
Oil refinery$20.06$25.08
Pest control$17.29$21.61
Pharmacy$18.99$23.74
Plumbing$19.72$24.65
Port worker$17.29$21.61
Poultry processing$17.87$22.34
Premixed concrete$18.36$22.95
Public transport driver$18.65$23.31
Quarrying$17.93$22.41
Racecourse attendant$17.79$22.24
Railways$17.29$21.61
Real estate$17.29$21.61
Restaurant worker$17.29$21.61
Road transport$18.31$22.89
Salt industry $18.59$23.24
School admin$17.79$22.24
Seafood processing$17.29$21.61
Seagoing$19.77$24.71
Security officer$19.42$24.28
Silviculture$20.08$25.10
Sporting coach$22.85$28.56
Stable employee$17.29$21.61
State government admin$18.07$22.59
Stevedoring$18.77$23.46
Store worker (warehouse)$18.47$23.09
Sugar industry$17.45$21.81
Surveying$17.79$22.24
Textiles$17.29$21.61
Tile factory worker$17.64$22.05
Timber$17.29$21.61
Travelling shows$17.29$21.61
Vet nurse$17.29$21.61
Waste management$20.52$25.65
Water industry$18.48$23.10
Wine industry$17.54$21.93
Wool$17.69$22.11

Source: tracked by the Fair Work Ombudsman. Pay level for first-year worker quoted. Casual rate calculated as 125% of standard rate; other conditions may apply.

The rules around minimum wages

Employers must be pay the minimum wage for any staff aged 18 or more. As of August 2015, this is $17.29 an hour. Younger employees, trainees and apprentices can receive lower rates. Casual staff must receive a minimum 25% loading on the basic minimum wage.

If an employee has a specific award agreement in place, that will apply. If not, the rate for the general award, which is what we've listed here, is used. Most large companies will have their own award (which might pay less than the general award, though it can't go below minimum wage).

Employers are free to pay more than the award rate if they wish. Many jobs also have complex additional rules relating to weekend or night work, length of breaks between shifts and other elements. Knowing what you're entitled to is the first step in making sure you're paid what you're worth.

Picture: P J R, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (image cropped)

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One Response to How does 7-Eleven’s pay compare to other employers?

  1. Default Gravatar
    | September 1, 2015

    Saw the 4 Corners expose. All the relevant government departments knew what was going on but turned a blind eye.
    Absolutely disgraceful. It make me ashamed of my country when I see the abuse of the laws which have been put in place to protect us all.
    Government workers need to be sacked for negligence. That will fix a broken system where bureaucrats often do little more than shuffle paper around.

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