A Guide for Young Workers

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A best practice guide for young workers
Looking for your first job or a new job? This can be an exciting time.

To help ensure you get a proper deal when you start your job, it is important to find out about your rights and entitlements and what responsibilities you may have in the workplace.

This Best Practice Guide explains:

• things you need to know about your employment conditions

• things you need to know before you start work

• things you need to know when you start work

• what protections you have against harassment and discrimination

• union membership, and

• the importance of workplace health and safety.

There is also a checklist and some helpful hints at the end of this guide.

This guide illustrates what best practice is when it comes to getting your first job. For specific information regarding your minimum legal entitlements and obligations, contact the organisations listed under the ‘For more information’ section at the end of this guide.

Am I allowed to work?
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 government department in your state or territory. You can find their contact details under the ‘For more information’ section at the end of this guide.

What are my employment conditions?
When you accept a job you will agree to work for your employer under certain terms and conditions. Generally, those terms and conditions will be set out verbally, in a letter of offer, or instrument such as an enterprise agreement or an award. While there are a number of documents that can set out the terms and conditions of your employment, most of them are likely to be set out in an award or instrument that applies to you. Visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for information on what award or enterprise agreement applies to you.

Generally you will be employed either on a casual, permanent part-time or full-time basis (refer to ‘What is my employment status’, below).

You should remember that:

• if your employment is subject to an award or an enterprise agreement, you should ask your employer for confirmation as to which award or enterprise agreement applies to you (and if possible obtain a copy)

• if you are a new employee you must be provided with an information statement concerning the terms and conditions of your employment (the Fair Work Information Statement)

• it is unlawful for you to be forced into signing
any agreement.

Minimum conditions
Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (FW Act) you are entitled to the following 10 minimum entitlements, wherever you work. Some of these 10 minimum entitlements do not apply to casual employees. You can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 to find out more about your entitlements. These minimum entitlements are called the National Employment Standards (NES) and they are:

• a maximum standard working week of 38 hours (plus reasonable additional hours from time to time)

• four weeks paid annual leave each year. Part-time employees get a proportion of this depending on how much they work

• 10 days paid personal/carer’s leave each year for full-time employees. Part-time employees get a proportion of this depending on how much they work. Once this paid leave has been used up, employees can take up to two days unpaid carer’s leave per occasion

• community service leave for certain community service activities such as voluntary emergency management activity, voluntary fire-fighting or jury service

• the right to accrue long service leave

• eight prescribed public holidays each year, as well as any additional public holidays prescribed by state or territory law

• a minimum amount of notice prior to termination of the employment (or...
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