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An employee who is paid a commission normally gets a fee or percentage based on how much they sell. This is common in car sales and real estate (property) sales. A commission can either be the whole wage or be paid as an extra payment on top of a base wage.
Whether a commission is payable will generally be in your contract of employment, enterprise agreement or award. If you are not sure if you should be paid a commission, you should get
Not all employees can be employed on a commission only basis (that is, you are only paid a commission). If you are employed on a commission only basis there may be minimum conditions of employment that apply to your job, including a minimum wage. You should get
legal advice to find out what, if any, minimum conditions apply.
A bonus is a payment made to an employee for performing to a certain standard, or reaching a specific target. For example, you may be paid a bonus for selling a certain number of your employer's products in a one-year period, or if your employer made a set profit for the year.
Whether a bonus is payable will generally be in your contract of employment, enterprise agreement or award. If you are not sure if you are entitled to a bonus, you should get
A commission is usually paid at the same time you receive your wages. For example, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. A bonus may be paid at the end of a specified period, for example at the end of the financial year.
If you are dismissed (sacked) from your job, you may still be entitled to be paid any bonus or commission owing to you. These payments may be made with your final pay when you leave your job or on the next scheduled payday. In some cases the payments could be made later. For example, your employer may need time to collect sales figures or targets to determine how much you should be paid.
For some employees the payment of a bonus may be discretionary. This means that the payment of a bonus is a decision for your employer to make, and you may not be able to recover it if it is not paid.
If you haven't been paid or you haven't been paid the right amount, there are steps you can take to try and recover the money that you are entitled to. For more information, see
What if my entitlements are not paid?
Case study - Rachel
Rachel is employed as a salesperson with a cosmetic company. She has been selling quite a few of the company's products lately and has noticed that her pay has increased.
Unsure why her pay had suddenly increased, Rachel decided to check her employment contract again. Rachel noticed her employment contract says that she is entitled to a commission for every product that she sells.
Rachel is now relaxed, knowing that she is entitled to the extra pay and that her boss hasn't made a mistake of overpaying her.