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Tips for Young Employees


(last updated 25/06/2010)

Some students are looking for a job while they are studying, and fortunately they are offered one. It is important that you have  a chance to clarity critical points before starting the new job. When you are hired, your employer should advise you of your wages and conditions of employment, preferably in writing.

It is suggested the following topics be discussed:

  • the labour law or specific agreement, if applicable, under which you will be working;
  • the status of employment:  full-time, part-time or casual or if you are an apprentice or trainee;
  • whether the employment offered is subject to informal training requirements or a formal training contract – apprenticeship or traineeship;
  • whether there is a specified probationary period;
  • the classification of the job (job title);
  • the period of notice required to be given by the employer and employee to terminate the employment;
  • the wages, allowances payable to you, and entitlements, such as how many sick days, annual leave and others; what is the over time rate or public holiday rate.
  • the amount and types of leave, including organisation specific leave application processes;
  • the name of a responsible person in the firm to answer employment questions;
  • who should be notified, at what time and in what circumstances if the employee is to be absent from work;
  • hours of work and meal breaks, including any organisation specific record keeping requirements;
  • the rights and obligations of both the employer and employee under the employment contract; and
  • where to go for help concerning questions about pay and conditions for work.

If you don’t get employment details in writing, you may find it hard to prove that you were hired to do a specific job.

Based on Queenlands Government, Department of Justice Attorney-General. 2009. Starting work as a young worker. Retrieved September 12th, 2009 from http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/industrial/rights/information/employee/ and http://www.deir.qld.gov.au/industrial/rights/information/employee/

Further references

– The Cambodian Federation of Employers and Business Associations (CAMFEBA)- Legal Updates http://www.camfeba.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=51&Itemid=61
– Asian Insurance (history of Labour Law)  http://www.asiainsurance.com.kh/labour_law.htm
– International Labour Organisation (ILO) http://www.ilo.org/asia/countries/lang–en/index.htm
– Clean Clothes http://www.cleanclothes.org/news
– Better Factories http://www.betterfactories.org/ILO/default.aspx?z=1&c=2
– The Arbitration Council (collective labour disputes) http://www.arbitrationcouncil.org

Related Sources

Workplace Relations in Australia (general info) http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/workplace_relations.html (some may not be up to date)

– The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) http://www.deewr.gov.au or http://www.deewr.gov.au/WorkplaceRelations/NewWorkplaceRelations/Pages/default.aspx

The new national workplace system

The new national workplace system started on 1 July 2009 and was created by the Fair Work Act 2009. It covers the majority of workplaces in Australia.  Three bodies have roles in the system:

  • Fair Work Australia
  • Fair Work Ombudsman
  • Fair Work Federal Divisions of the Federal Court and the Federal Magistrates Court.

– Fair Work Australia’s role www.fwa.gov.au

is the new independent tribunal on national workplace laws.It has powers to carry out a range of functions relating to workplace disputes and industrial action, the minimum wages and employment conditions safety net, enterprise bargaining and more.

– The Fair Work Ombudsman’s role www.fwo.gov.au

provides advice on national workplace laws and education to employees, employers and organisations. Fair Work Inspectors can help employers, employees and organisations comply with the new national workplace relations laws and, where necessary, take steps to enforce the laws through the court system.

– Fair Work Federal Divisions

Specialist Fair Work Divisions have been created in the Federal Court and Federal Magistrates Court. These Divisions will hear matters related to the new national workplace relations laws. The Courts will be able to generally make any orders they consider appropriate to fix a contravention of workplace relations laws, rather than just impose a penalty.

– Australian Building & Construction Commission – construction industry workplace relations
– State workplace relations systems:

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