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Chef Jobs in Australia
Information for chefs and cooks on where to find work in Australia, immigration & visas, health insurance, pay, wages and conditions.
Your skills, experience and qualifications are in high demand, so do your research carefully to ensure you get the best job possible.
Where to find work
Newspapers in each town or city usually advertise position under 'Hospitality', especially in large cities. Wednesday and Saturday are the main days for advertising but ads usually run every day.
Check here for newspapers and their websites for each city. They each have an associated website - principal ones are MyCareer and CareerOne. The largest and best independent job search website is SEEK.com.au - well worth checking.
Health care and health insurance
Australian residents are covered by Medicare, a free health care system. You may be eligible, depending on your residence status - plenty of information for visitors on the Dept of Health's website - search for the term 'Overseas Visitor Health Cover'.
Wages, conditions and taxation
Wages and conditions are regulated in Australia - in general, the standard work week is 38 hours. Cooking positions often expect longer hours - make sure you are clear about how your pay is calculated. Pay rates are determined by either an Award (either State or Federal Government) or a registered Workplace Agreement.
Current rates for each state can be found at Fair Work Australia. Informal arrangements that do not meet the minimum agreements or award conditions are illegal. A qualified chef should be able to earn at least $20 per hour in most areas.
If you earn wages, you must pay tax. Employers should take tax out of your pay each week (or fortnight) and give you a pay slip declaring your earnings and information about deductions. The Australian Taxation Office website has all the information on Tax File Numbers, Superannuation (retirement benefit) payments and how to do your tax return and obtain a refund.
All employees are automatically covered by Workers Compensation insurance, paid for by the employer.
Immigration and visas
The Australian Department of Immigration handles visas and immigration - the website is a great resource and easy to use.
The Department of Employment manages the recognition of your qualifications - search for 'trades recognition' for information about how they assess skills.Private recruitment agencies
Recruitment agencies specialising in chefs include Chefs on the Run, Alseasons, Pinnacle, Troy, and Placed Recruitment. Most handle casual and permanent positions - casual (hourly) work is a good way to start and get a feel for the local work style and hear 'the gossip' about the best places for jobs.
Many of these agencies advertise online - try searching now:
How to Prepare your Resume and Handle the Interview
Check the Free Online Videos for the best way to prepare for and present yourself in a job interview. Plus how to prepare your resume and cover letter.