Expat shocked by Australia’s minimum wage compared to the US

A US expat revealed the one thing that would “freak out” Americans about living Down Under is the liveable working wage.

At a time when millions of young Aussies are struggling with the cost of living, Eli Winters, who now lives on the Gold Coast, argued the working conditions and rights of workers are far more favourable compared to the US.

“The fact that the minimum wage is liveable. The fact you get more money when you work on weekends, overtime, or late nights [as a casual],” she said in a viral TikTok.

“America does have overtime pay but they don’t have weekend pay, it’s just not the same as it is here.”

She was also shocked to learn full time employees, regardless of their position in the company, are entitled to paid holiday leave and sick days.

“If you were a full time employee just at a retail shop or the local grocer … you will get four weeks paid vacation,” she said.

“In America some people work their entire life and I don’t think take that much paid vacation, it’s tragic.”

US expat blown away by Aussie wage

Some Aussies were quick to say while wages are “liveable” it’s not enough amid the rising cost of living.

“Yes but our cost of living is insane,” one person wrote.

“Liveable is a stretch, but certainly better than America,” another added.

Eli said it was still better than what Americans get paid per hour, which is $US7.25 ($A11.30).

The minimum wage in Australia is $23.23 per hour or $882.80 per 38 hour week (before tax), according to the Fairwork Ombudsman.

The expat, who works as a casual employee, shared another clip to explain the labour law differences between the two countries.

“In America, yes, some jobs do have paid vacation and annual leave, but that is not a federal law,” she explained.

“In Australia, if you are a full-time employee or part-time employee, you are entitled to four weeks paid vacation no matter what position or company.

“If you are working for McDonald’s or grocery store, you are entitled.”

Eli explained that she gets paid $29 per hour as a casual employee in the Gold Coast.

“One of the best parts is this number,” she said as she pointed to a sum of $202. “This is what they pay into my retirement fund.

“This is called superannuation that every job is required to pay. So in just two weeks of working I have accumulated $202 into a retirement fund.”

She also revealed she paid $156 in taxes out of a $1037 total.

“So I still brought home $881 — this is per one week,” she said.

“So if you do it backwards, the $29 rate that I am getting as a casual employee here in Australia would be about $18 US dollars an hour — in America in basic standards that’s a great hourly rate.

“So imagine all of a sudden your $7.25 turned into $18 an hour and you got vacation days and you got a retirement fund paid — this system in most first world countries … just America is so far behind.”

Eli isn’t the only expat to be shocked by Australia’s work laws. A Canadian man also went viral after he shared a TikTok about it, adding it’s far more than what he expected.

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