government department in your state or territory. You A best practice guide for young workers
can find their contact details under the „For more Looking for your first job or a new job? This can be
information‟ section at the end of this guide. an exciting time.
What are my employment conditions? To help ensure you get a proper deal when you start
your job, it is important to find out about your rights When you accept a job you will agree to work for and entitlements and what responsibilities you may your employer under certain terms and conditions. have in the workplace. Generally, those terms and conditions will be set out
verbally, in a letter of offer, or instrument such as an This Best Practice Guide explains: enterprise agreement or an award. While there are a
number of documents that can set out the terms and things you need to know about your ;conditions of your employment, most of them are employment conditions likely to be set out in an award or instrument that
things you need to know before you start ;applies to you. Visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact
work the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for information on
what award or enterprise agreement applies to you. things you need to know when you start work ;
Generally you will be employed either on a casual, what protections you have against ;permanent part-time or full-time basis (refer to „What harassment and discrimination is my employment status‟, below).
union membership, and ;You should remember that:
the importance of workplace health and ; if your employment is subject to an award or ;safety. an enterprise agreement, you should ask
your employer for confirmation as to which There is also a checklist and some helpful hints at award or enterprise agreement applies to you the end of this guide. (and if possible obtain a copy)
This guide illustrates what best practice is when it if you are a new employee you must be ;comes to getting your first job. For specific provided with an information statement information regarding your minimum legal concerning the terms and conditions of your entitlements and obligations, contact the employment (the Fair Work Information organisations listed under the „For more information‟ Statement) section at the end of this guide.
it is unlawful for you to be forced into signing ;Am I allowed to work? any agreement. Some state and territory governments have minimum
age restrictions about when you can get a job and
when you are allowed to work. To find out whether
any restrictions apply to you, contact the relevant
provision of the Fair Work Information ;Minimum conditions
Statement at the commencement of your Fair Work Act 2009Under the (FW Act) you are
employment. entitled to the following 10 minimum entitlements,
wherever you work. Some of these 10 minimum Where you have at least 12 months continuous entitlements do not apply to casual employees. You service, you are also entitled to: can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work
Infoline on 13 13 94 to find out more about your the right to request flexible work ;
entitlements. These minimum entitlements are called arrangements if you are a parent or carer, the National Employment Standards (NES) and they until your child reaches school age and for are: parents of a child with a disability, until the
child reaches 18 years of age, and a maximum standard working week of 38 ;
hours (plus reasonable additional hours from a right to 12 months of unpaid parental leave ;
time to time) after the birth or adoption of a child (and the
right to request to extend this period by a four weeks paid annual leave each year. ;further 12 months which can only be refused Part-time employees get a proportion of this on reasonable business grounds). depending on how much they work
redundancy pay if your employment is ; 10 days paid personal/carer‟s leave each ;terminated by the employer because the year for full-time employees. Part-time employer no longer requires your job to be employees get a proportion of this depending done by anyone, or because of the on how much they work. Once this paid leave employer‟s insolvency or bankruptcy. The has been used up, employees can take up to obligation to provide redundancy pay does two days unpaid carer‟s leave per occasion not generally apply to employers with less
than 15 employees. community service leave for certain ;
community service activities such as Reasonable business grounds for refusing a request voluntary emergency management activity, from an employee may include, for example: the voluntary fire-fighting or jury service effect on the workplace and the employer‟s business
of approving the request, including the financial the right to accrue long service leave ;
impact of doing so and the impact on efficiency,
eight prescribed public holidays each year, ;productivity and customer service; the inability to
as well as any additional public holidays organise work among existing staff; and, the inability prescribed by state or territory law to recruit a replacement employee or the practicality
or otherwise of the arrangements that may need to a minimum amount of notice prior to ;be put in place to accommodate the employee‟s termination of the employment (or payment in request. lieu of notice)
Some of these minimum entitlements do not apply to Fixed term employees
casual employees. You can visit Fixed term employees are employed as full-time or www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline part-time employees for a specific period of time and on 13 13 94 for more information. have a set date for the end of their employment. This
can include seasonal workers. For example, What is my employment status? employees engaged as full-time employees for a Generally, employees can be classified into the fixed term during the ski season would be entitled to following groups: benefits such as annual leave and sick leave. Full-time permanent employees If you are unsure about your employment status you Full-time employees normally work 38 hours per can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair
week (plus reasonable additional hours) and have an Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for more information.ongoing contract of employment. As a full-time
What do I have to do before starting work? employee, you are entitled to benefits such as sick
leave, holiday pay, long service leave and carer‟s or After you have accepted a position, and before you other types of leave. You are also entitled to a period commence working, your employer should ask you to: of notice on termination in most cases, and can complete a tax declaration form - if your ;usually access unfair dismissal laws once you have employer does not provide you with this form completed the minimum employment period. you can obtain one from a post office or the
Australian Taxation Office, and Part-time permanent employees
Part-time employees are engaged for less than full- provide details for your employee records. ;time hours but with similar entitlements to full-time
employees. If you work part-time you will most likely The details usually required are:
receive an amount of annual leave and full name ;personal/carer‟s leave calculated according to the
number of hours you work each week. residential address ;
Casual employees phone number ;
If you are employed as a casual employee, you do emergency contact details ;not normally have guaranteed hours of work each
week and may be called to work at short notice. superannuation fund details ;Casuals are not usually entitled to permanent
tax file number employment entitlements, such as sick leave and ;
annual leave, and notice periods do not apply to bank details including your bank account ;casuals upon termination of employment. However, number as a casual employee, you will normally be paid a
casual loading instead of getting the permanent your date of birth if you are under 21, so that ;employee entitlements. your employer can determine the date you
may become entitled to any applicable pay or agreement.. Depending on your age, you may be
increases paid a junior rate. Different rates apply for
apprentices and trainees. You may also be paid your parent or guardian‟s contact details if ;allowances for doing certain tasks or loadings for you are under 18. working at certain times, such as weekends, late
nights or public holidays. You should be paid for all of You should always try to keep these details up to the hours you work, including: date. This will help to ensure that payments and any
important communications get to you as quickly as team and individual meetings at the ;possible. It is also very important in case of employer‟s request emergencies.
trial periods ;It is particularly important that you provide your
employer with your tax file number. If you do not opening and closing the business ;
provide your employer with your tax file number you training sessions, courses or days ;risk having tax deducted at a higher rate.
travelling during work hours in association ;Probationary or qualifying periods with your employment So that you and your employer can decide whether
you can satisfactorily do a job, you may be subject compulsory attendance at a function. ;
to a probationary or qualifying period when you You should be paid on a set day - usually weekly, start employment. fortnightly or monthly. So that you know what you are You are always entitled to be paid your full rate of being paid for, you must also get a pay slip from your pay for all the work you do during a probationary or employer within one day of being paid. Your pay slip qualifying period. must include:
your name, your employer‟s full name and ;Pre-employment medicals
Australian Business Number (ABN) An employer is entitled to know if you have a
condition that may affect your ability to work or a date of payment of wages ;condition that may require them to make some
adjustments in the workplace to protect your health pay period covered ;
and safety. However, employers are not entitled to
date you were paid on ;your full medical history. If you sign an authorisation
for an examining doctor, be aware of what number of hours being paid for ;information this releases.
ordinary and overtime rates and the amounts ;Getting paid! paid at that rate
Now, let‟s talk about the major reason why most of us
if you are paid an annual rate of pay, that ;are at work - to get paid! Your employer should pay
rate as at the last day in the pay period you at least the minimum rate shown in your award
all deductions made out what rest breaks and meal breaks apply to you. ;
Most employees are entitled to at least a 30 minute details about superannuation ;unpaid break after five hours work.
gross wages (the amount before tax) paid ;Public holidays
Generally, employees who are required to work on a net wages (the amount after tax) paid, and ;
public holiday are entitled to be paid for that public allowances, loadings, penalty rates and other ;holiday with penalty rates. This may vary according amounts paid. to your award or agreement.
Hours of work You can say no to working on a public holiday if you Your hours of work will depend on the industry in have reasonable grounds. Whether you can say no which you work and the award or agreement you depends on the type of work you do, whether you get work under. There may be minimum hours that you extra pay for working on public holidays, how much will be required to work. If you work hours outside of notice you are given, your reasons for refusing or your agreed hours, then you may be entitled to your personal circumstances (including family overtime. responsibilities).
Overtime and weekend penalty rates Superannuation
If overtime or weekend work is required, you should If you are 18 years of age or older, and you earn be aware of what conditions are offered. You should $450 or more (before tax) in a calendar month, your ask your employer the following questions. employer must make superannuation contributions
on your behalf. What counts as overtime in this job? ;
If you are under 18 years of age and you earn $450 What will the rate of overtime pay be? ;or more (before tax) in a calendar month and you
work more than 30 hours in a week, your employer Should I be receiving penalty rates for ;must make superannuation contributions on your working overtime (such a time and a half or behalf. double time)?
For more information on superannuation entitlements Do penalty rates apply for weekend or late ;you should contact the Australian Taxation Office‟s night work? Superannuation Guarantee Hotline on 13 10 20. Most awards and agreements set out penalty rates.
Deductions from pay However, an employee may be able to negotiate with
An employer should not deduct any amount from their employer to have paid time off instead of getting
your wages unless required by law or you have payment for overtime.
agreed to it in writing and the deduction is principally Breaks for your benefit. If you are under 18, your parent or You should check your award or agreement to find guardian must also agree to the deduction in writing.
a union (if you are a member) ;Union membership
You have the choice to join or not join a union. All Fair Work Australia, or ;employees have the right to join the union that covers their type of employment. Your union may: an equal opportunity or anti-discrimination ;
body in your state. assist in developing an award or agreement ;
for your sector or employer in order to
improve your wages and conditions
provide you with advice and assistance on ;
how to handle workplace negotiations on pay
and conditions, and
represent you in workplace issues. ;
Membership of a union is confidential and you do not have to inform your employer or work colleagues. It is against the law for a person to discriminate against you because you are or are not a member of a union. Harassment and discrimination
It is against the law for anyone to harass you or discriminate against you at work or when you are seeking work because of your sex, race, colour, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer‟s responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction, social origin or because you are temporarily absent from work because of an illness or injury. It is also against the law for a worker to sexually harass another in the workplace.
If you believe you have been harassed or
discriminated against, you should contact:
the Fair Work Ombudsman ;
your employer or human resources manager ;
an equal opportunity officer or grievance ;
Finishing up or termination of Bullying
It is against the law for a worker to be bullied in the employment
workplace. Bullying is behaviour or language that can In most cases, you or your employer can end your scare, degrade or humiliate somebody. employment at any time by giving notice according to
your award or agreement. If you resign you should If you believe you have been bullied, you should check your award or agreement to determine how contact the occupational health and safety body in much notice you must give your employer, otherwise your state or territory. your employer can keep wages to cover the notice
period. Generally, if you are a casual employee your Workplace health and safety job may be terminated at one hour‟s notice. – don’t risk it!
Your employer has an obligation to ensure that you Unless you are a casual, you should be paid out any have safe systems of work, safe equipment and annual leave owing to you when your employment
, you alsoproper training. However have an obligation ends.
to follow appropriate workplace health and safety If the business changes so that your job no longer procedures. It is important that you follow these
exists then you may be offered another job or be procedures, because the last thing you want to do is
made redundant. If your employment contract has risk your own health and safety or the safety of your
finished (if you are a fixed-term employee), then workmates.
your employment ends.
If you find problems like faulty equipment, slippery
If you are dismissed during the probation or floors or a lack of safety gear, tell your employer
qualifying period in the first 6 months of your immediately. You should also tell your employer if
employment (or the first 12 months of employment you are unhappy with your training and, if nothing with a small business employer) you cannot access happens, see your occupational health and safety unfair dismissal laws. A small business employer is representative.
an employer with less than 15 employees (based on You must always: a simple headcount) at the time of the dismissal.
follow safety procedures ;If you are dismissed at any time during the probation
becauseor qualifying periodof the fact that you are report safety hazards ;entitled to a workplace right (for instance a right to
join a union) or your dismissal is for an unlawful correctly wear safety gear, and ;
reason (such as discrimination) you have the right to
not put other people (including fellow workers) ;bring a claim to Fair Work Australia or lodge a
at risk. complaint with the Australian Human Rights
Commission. Always remember that working after drinking alcohol
or taking drugs is dangerous, especially if other Once you have worked for a six month period for people are relying on you. your employer (or a 12 month period for a small
business employer), the law also protects you from needs to be at work 15 minutes before the shop being unfairly dismissed from your employment. opens to prepare the shop for customers. He also
told Sharyn that she would not be paid for the time Take all warnings from your employer seriously. If before the shop opened because it was “set up time” you don‟t do your job properly, you can be dismissed, and not “work time”. however you should be given a warning before any
dismissal (except in the case of serious misconduct). Sharyn‟s friend, Amira, works at a nearby bakery.
Three warnings are not necessarily required. Amira is also required to be at work 15 minutes
before the shop opened to put the bread and cakes If you are given a warning, remember to ask your on display. Amira tells Sharyn that she is paid for the employer what you need to do to improve your time spent putting the food on display and preparing performance. Seek advice and request any work the shop for customers. related training that would help you to perform your
duties properly. You may want to consider taking a What do you think?
support person with you to meetings about your Should Sharyn have been paid for the time she was performance. required to prepare the shop for customers?
without noticeYou may be dismissed if you have: The answer
Yes. Sharyn was entitled to be paid for all time that acted dishonestly (for instance, lying to your ;she worked. She could speak to the Fair Work employer)
Ombudsman for assistance to get the money that
refused to follow reasonable instructions from ;Nathan owes her.
your employer or person in charge, or
Sharyn explained to Nathan that she felt it was not
behaved so badly that instant dismissal is ;fair that she was not being paid for the full time that
justified (for instance, stealing or fighting). she had worked. She also said that she was
considering making a complaint about her concerns. You cannot be dismissed because of things like your Fine, well if you make a Nathan then said: “race, sex, age, physical or mental disability, sexual complaint, you’re sacked.” Two days later, even preference, or for filing a complaint against your before Sharyn had made the complaint, Nathan employer for breaching a law. sacked Sharyn.
The following case study is a practical example of a Sharyn was very upset about being sacked and went workplace issue. to the Fair Work Ombudsman to lodge a complaint. Case study: What do you think? A guide for young workers Could the employer do what he did in this case? Sharyn is 17 years old and has been employed at
The answer Nathan Inc coffee shop for over a year. Nathan, the
store owner and manager, tells Sharyn that she No. Sharyn was entitled to make a complaint to the
Fair Work Ombudsman about her employer‟s actions. Helpful hints
Nathan was acting against the law by threatening to keep a diary of days and hours worked ;dismiss Sharyn for making a complaint. Sharyn has a right under a workplace law to make the complaint, keep copies or records of your employment ;
and Nathan‟s threat to dismiss Sharyn, and his actual details, pay slips, your agreement or award
dismissal of Sharyn, are both against the law. and your superannuation and tax documents
Penalties can apply to employers who act like this.
ask your employer questions if you are unsure ;Also, if Sharyn had chosen to bring an unfair dismissal claim before Fair Work Australia, she may take up any offers or opportunities for ;have received compensation for any lost wages and additional training or education within possibly also an order reinstating her back to her the workplace position at the coffee shop.
remember there are always Government ;
Checklist for young workers and helpful contacts that can help you if you get stuck.
See the „For more information‟ section at hints
the end of this guide for a list of organisations Although exciting, starting your first job or going into
that can help. a new industry can also be a challenge, so it is important as a young worker to understand: For more information
what your rights and entitlements are on ;Employment issues about your conditions of employment,
Fair Work Ombudsman rates of pay, working hours, breaks and
13 13 94 public holidays
what information you should have before you ;
Termination of employment accept a job
Fair Work Australia the things you should expect from your ;1300 799 675 employer in terms of the workplace www.fwa.gov.au environment (for example, a workplace free
from unlawful discrimination and harassment) Tax or superannuation
Australian Tax Office 13 10 20 your obligations in the workplace as to health ;www.ato.gov.au and safety and also your employer‟s
obligations Minimum age of employment in your state or
territory: your right to join, or not join, a union ;
Australian Capital Territory Office for Children, Youth what happens when you are leaving a job. ;and Family Support
13 34 27
www.dhcs.act.gov.au/ocyfs 1300 369 711
www.humanrights.gov.au New South Wales Office
of Industrial Relations Australian Capital Territory Human Rights 13 16 28 Commission
www.industrialrelations.nsw.gov.au/Young_workers.h(02) 6205 2222
Northern Territory Department of New South Wales
Education and Training Anti-Discrimination Board
(08) 8999 5659 (02) 9268 5544
Queensland Young Workers Advisory Service Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission (07) 3211 1447 1800 813 846
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland SafeWork SA 1300 130 670 1300 365 255 www.adcq.qld.gov.au www.safework.sa.gov.au
South Australian Equal Opportunity Commission (08)
8207 1977 Workplace Standards Tasmania www.eoc.sa.gov.au (03) 6233 7657
www.wst.tas.gov.au Tasmanian Office of the Anti-Discrimination
Commissioner Business Victoria (03) 6233 4841 13 22 15 www.antidiscrimination.tas.gov.au www.business.vic.gov.au
Victorian EqualOpportunity & Human Rights Labour Relations – Western Australia Commission 1300 655 266 1300 891 848 www.commerce.wa.gov.au/LabourRelations www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au
Western Australian Equal Opportunity Commission
(08) 9216 3900 Discrimination:
www.eoc.wa.gov.au Fair Work Ombudsman
13 13 94 Occupational health and safety and bullying in www.fairwork.gov.au your state or territory
Australian Human Rights Commission ACT Work Safety Commissioner