21 Jul 2012

Crew have rights. How? You don’t need a Union to get your rights!


  • You get Super if paid over $450 month.
  • Real life story: how a casual got the Award.
  • ABN and Pty Ltd – read this

Our post about casuals owed Super, and entitled to Worker’s Compensation sure hit a nerve overnight. (No thanks to Anon 1 and Anon 2 for the threats). Obviously shonky employers are quaking in the knowledge their records are open to scrutiny by the Tax Office and Fair Work Australia.

Here are some comments from the thread:


It’s very good news for workers like myself, but the sad news that no one is hearing our rights, specially when we use our ABN to invoice employers. And of course we can’t complain, because we will lose jobs.

As a casual / freelancer I can’t ask for anything, just take what employers offer me. A lot of my fellow workers and myself end up working for companies who booked us today then they cancel the job tomorrow without thinking of our lost.

Adding to that some employers know how much we need the job and we end up treated badly abused by some senior crew who should support our cause instead of using the old fashion way of swearing and bulling workers.


As we have no union presenting us ( stage hand, production crew, AV LX setup crew and operators) there is no way that we could ask for our rights without being sacked.

To which we say contact Fair Work Australia:

  • Telephone: 1300 799 675. Between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm (your local time) Monday to Friday
  • Email: Inquiries can be emailed to

Tell them you are covered by MA000081 – Live Performance Award. Becuase EVERY SINGLE CREW MEMBER in Australia is covered by this EXCEPT if they work for a council or government venue where they are CLEARLY under a a council or government award. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Another comment:

I would wager you’d find quite a few venues (possibly the older ones) that are doing the same thing. It was the standard practice, back in the 90′s at least, to avoid paying super AND long service leave to the casuals who were in the venue literally day after day for years based on the rhetoric that ‘You’re a casual, you’re not entitled to it”. WRONG!

And this:

Is the Super threshold $400 a month over the year – ie $4800.00 in a financial year? or is it just due on one months pay if that month is over $400?

ANSWER: Our bad, it is $450 a month. Here is the web page.

Here is comment from a casual worker known to CX who emailed a pay question to Fair Work Australia very recently. “They rang back the next day, told me I could make an official complaint if need be and gave me my minimum wage information. I emailed my employer, asked would I be getting the award wage quoted by FWA. Employer may have been nervous I had spoken to FWA, and is now giving me the correct hourly rate.”

So you have an ABN (Australian Business Number)? And the employers (‘customers’) require an invoice, with or without GST? Remember that GST is not a tax on business – if you work above the threshold, and charge GST, they pay this to you and they claim it back).

This is what the Tax Office says: If a worker has an ABN, this does not automatically mean the worker is a contractor. You still need to consider the nature of your agreement with the worker.

What if you are an incorporated Pty Ltd company? Then you are less likely to get FTA interested in your case. But if you’ve gone to all the trouble and expense to incorporate, chances are you work for well above the award. And as a Pty Ltd Company, you sort your own Super.

Has this helped?



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