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Top tips to help your kids prepare for their first job

20 December 2018

This article is part of the Suncorp ESSI Family Challenge series, in partnership with the Financial Basics Foundation, an independent charity working to educate young people better understand money and finances.

Piecing together your payslip: A short, totally-not-boring guide.

Whether you’re just starting your career or have decided this is the year you finally retire from the rat race, there’s one pesky document that confuses Australians far and wide – the payslip. And while just the thought of it may cause your eyes to glaze over, it pays to have a general understanding of it.

It may seem like only yesterday you were waving your child off on their first day of school. But in the blink of an eye they’re all grown up and entering the working world.

If your child has found a job, they’re likely to be excited about gaining a new level of independence, earning their own money and developing new skills in a professional environment.

But are they up to speed on how many hours they can work, what they should be paid, and how to interpret a payslip to make sure it’s correct?

Here are some top tips and points to consider to help your kids prepare for their first job.

Help your child understand their working rights and responsibilities

Firstly, it’s good to ensure that your child knows they are legally old enough to work. The age limit varies depending on the situation and the state or territory you live in. The info can usually be found on the relevant state government website.

You can also discuss working hours and annual leave entitlement. For example, do they know that a full-time employee:

  • Can work up to a maximum of 38 hours in one week.
  • Is entitled to 4 weeks’ paid leave per year.

For more information to share with your child download a factsheet on earning your first wage.

Explaining payslips

Unfortunately, not all payslips are created equal and depending on the format, they can be tricky to understand.

Consider discussing some of the following phrases with your child so they know what to look for when they receive their first payslip:

  • Gross pay
  • Net pay
  • Superannuation
  • Taxation

Understanding the definitions of these and other common phrases can make entering the working world and understanding finances less daunting.

Read more:


Financial Basics Foundation

The Financial Basics Foundation is a non-for-profit charity focused on educating young people in money and personal finances. Their vision is, “that all young Australians are financially capable and can manage their finances now and into the future.” For more information visit

This is general information only, current as at 20 November 2017 and is not legal or financial advice, nor is it intended to be legal advice or financial advice. It is not a recommendation or advice in relation to the Suncorp Group or any product or service offered by any company or entity in the Suncorp Group and does not take into account a person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.