Rivermate | Cocos (Keeling) Islands flag

Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Benefits and Entitlements Overview

Learn about mandatory and optional employee benefits in Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Mandatory benefits

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian external territory, adheres to Australian federal workplace laws for mandatory employee benefits.

Minimum Wage

A full-time employee, working 38 hours or more per week, must be paid at least the applicable minimum wage set by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The minimum wage varies depending on the industry and classification of the employee.


Employers are required to contribute a minimum percentage of an employee's ordinary time earnings towards their superannuation (pension) fund. The current Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contribution rate is 10.5% of earnings, increasing gradually to 12% by 2025.

Employees are entitled to several types of paid leave, including:

  • Annual leave: At least 4 weeks per year after 1 year of service.
  • Personal leave: 10 days per year (pro-rated for part-time employees) for personal illness or emergencies.
  • Public holidays: A set number of public holidays throughout the year. The specific holidays may vary depending on the territory.
  • Long service leave: Extended paid leave for long-term employees (entitlement varies based on length of service).

Notice of Termination

Both employers and employees must provide a minimum period of notice before termination of employment. The required notice period depends on the employee's length of service and award/agreement, if applicable.

This is a general overview, and specific requirements may vary depending on the industry and any applicable enterprise bargaining agreements.

Optional benefits

Beyond mandatory benefits, employers in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands may offer a variety of attractive perks to attract and retain talent. Here's a glimpse into some commonly provided optional benefits:

Health and Wellbeing Benefits

  • Private health insurance: This can help employees cover medical expenses not fully reimbursed by the national health system.

Financial Benefits

  • Salary sacrifice contributions: This allows employees to contribute pre-tax dollars towards benefits like salary packaging for childcare or meals, reducing their taxable income.
  • Bonuses: Performance-based bonuses or profit-sharing schemes can motivate employees and reward high achievers.

Work-Life Balance Benefits

  • Flexible work arrangements: This could include flexible working hours, compressed workweeks, or remote work options to provide employees with more control over their schedules.
  • Parental leave: Employers may offer more generous parental leave policies than the minimum required by law.

Other Benefits

  • Professional development opportunities: Employers may offer training programs, conferences, or tuition reimbursement to help employees develop their skills and advance their careers.
  • Employee discounts: Discounts on company products or services, or with partner businesses, can be a valuable perk.

The specific benefits offered will vary depending on the size and industry of the company, as well as their budget and company culture.

Health insurance requirements

In the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian external territory, health insurance is not a requirement for employees. The healthcare system here mirrors that of Australia, with all Australian citizens and permanent residents, including those residing in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, being covered by Medicare. This government-funded universal healthcare program provides a wide range of essential medical services, such as doctor visits, hospital admissions, and some medications.

Private Health Insurance

Although not compulsory, some employees may choose to have private health insurance to supplement their Medicare coverage. This can be advantageous for a number of reasons:

  • Reduced Out-of-Pocket Costs: Medicare may not cover all expenses for certain services. Private health insurance can assist with costs related to dental care, physiotherapy, or private hospital rooms.
  • Wider Provider Choice and Shorter Wait Times: Private health insurance can provide access to a larger network of healthcare providers and potentially shorter wait times for elective surgeries.

Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Some employers in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands may offer private health insurance as part of their employee benefits package. This can be a valuable perk, particularly for employees who foresee needing more comprehensive healthcare coverage.

For Visitors

It's crucial to note that visitors to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are not covered by Medicare and should secure travel medical insurance. This type of insurance can cover any medical emergencies that may occur during their stay.

Retirement plans

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian external territory, utilizes the Australian superannuation system for retirement planning.

Superannuation (Super)

Superannuation, or Super, is a program in Australia where employers contribute a minimum percentage of an employee's ordinary time earnings towards their superannuation fund. The current contribution rate is 10.5%, which is set to gradually increase to 12% by 2025.

Employees generally have some choice in selecting their superannuation fund, allowing them to consider factors like investment options and fees.

Types of Superannuation Funds

There are several types of superannuation funds:

  • Retail Super Funds: These are open to the public and often offered by banks or insurance companies.
  • Industry Super Funds: These cater to a specific industry and may offer lower fees.
  • Employer-Sponsored Funds: These are offered by some employers and may have specific contribution or eligibility requirements.

Additional Considerations

There are additional considerations to keep in mind when planning for retirement:

  • Salary Sacrifice Contributions: Employees may choose to contribute pre-tax salary towards their super, which can reduce their taxable income.
  • Tax Benefits: Contributions towards superannuation may receive tax benefits from the Australian government, making it a valuable savings vehicle for retirement.

This information provides a general overview. Specific details and regulations may vary depending on individual circumstances. It is recommended to consult with a financial advisor familiar with Australian superannuation for personalized guidance.

Rivermate | A 3d rendering of earth

Hire your employees globally with confidence

We're here to help you on your global hiring journey.