Final Pay

When you finish working for an employer, you will receive your final pay. Your final pay must include: 

  • Any outstanding wages your employer owes you
  • Pay for any unused annual leave, including any leave loading that you would have received if you had have taken it while still working
  • Pay for any unused long service leave
  • Redundancy pay, if you are being made redundant
  • Pay in lieu of notice, if you are being dismissed

Leftover sick leave, and most other types of leave, are not paid out when you leave.

Most of the time, your employer should give you your final pay within seven days of your last day of work. But this can change depending on the award, agreement or contract that covers your workplace. 

If your award, agreement or contract does not specify how long your boss has to deliver your final pay, paying you in seven days is best practise.


When an organisation no longer has enough money to operate, it goes into a process called liquidation.

When this happens, all employees usually lose their jobs. Depending on how much money is left, employees have the right to be paid money they are still owed. Delivering employees their final pay takes priority over paying out unsecured creditors.

Money owed to employees when a company goes into liquidation is split into three categories:

  1. Unpaid wages and superannuation
  2. Pay instead of unused annual leave and long service leave
  3. Redundancy pay

Paying all employees the first category is the top priority. If there is still money left over after that, the second category can be paid and then the third.

If there is not enough money to pay what you are owed, you may be able to apply for the Government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee.

Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG)

The Fair Entitlements Guarantee is a government program that covers eligible employees’ unpaid wages and entitlements when their employer goes out of business. 

The Fair Entitlements Guarantee can cover: 

  • Up to 13 weeks of unpaid wages
  • Pay instead of unused annual leave and long service leave
  • Up to five weeks of payment instead of notice of dismissal
  • Redundancy pay – up to four weeks per year of service

Unfortunately, the Fair Entitlements Guarantee does not cover unpaid superannuation. However, you may be able to pursue this through the Australian Tax Office. Ask your union for help with this.

To be eligible to receive Fair Entitlement Guarantee payments you must:

  • Have lost your job because your employer went out of business due to either bankruptcy or insolvency
  • Have lost your job when your employer went out of business, or in the six months beforehand
  • Lodge a claim within 12 months of either:
    • The day you lost your job
    • The day your employer went out of business

 More detailed information about eligibility can be found online. You can also ask your union for advice about lodging a claim.

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