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(I already posted this up in Backpackers forum, but thought it was worth a double post as a)not a lot of people seem to visit that forum and b) its applicable to both backpackers and workers here in a long term capacity as well. And its something that I really didn't know about and am very very glad to have now found out about.)


Just wanted to post up a friendly post to peoples who may not be ultra familiar with various Australian work rules - don't be ripped off, taken advantage or or the mickey taken out of you simply because you don't know your rights people! :)


Having found ourselves in an unfortunate situation recently, I have been doing a bit of research on general matters. If you are getting a job, especially in more 'casual' sectors (even if its full time and perm.), do yourself a favour and read up on the award details for that job/industry. Basically, in Australia, all jobs (? not 100% sure if its all jobs, or just a lot of jobs/industries) are covered by some legally binding terms and conditions with regards to what you can and can't be asked to do/rates of pay/number of hours worked per week and so on. They are (imho) very generous and sensible, and from what I have managed to find out, rigorously enforced. It may be that your employer doesn't even know they are breaking the terms of the award you are governed by, however that doesn't mean they shouldn't be sticking to it.


You need to go to WorkFair Australia (http://www.fwa.gov.au/) to find the award for your job, and that will give you all the terms and conditions as well as the rate of pay you should be on as a min. We just found out that our employer has been making us work illegal hours, so WorkFair are going to investigate and if the employer is found to be at fault, they are going to have to pay all of us a wodge of cash to make up for it, as well as meaning that people who come after us (we are leaving) don't have to work in such unreasonable conditions. hurrah!


The people at WorkFair are lovely, very very patient and helpful, happy to explain the smallest thing to you without making you feel like an idiot and very supportive.


If you already know this, excellent, but for people who didn't know about it, hopefully it might help someone out who doesn't know their rights and is being taken advantage of (or help them not be taken advantage of in the first place).

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Hopefully people would speak to their employers first if they felt something was wrong and give them a chance to rectify the situation if it was warranted.


Agreed, but if you have been to your boss on several occasions, and their reaction is to either threaten you with violence or just scream at you that you have no idea how hard they work, unfortunately a resolution with them isn't likely. Or if you just aren't sure of your rights and don't want to be seen as a wingeing pin by asking ( as in my experience you are perceived as a trouble maker or that you are complaining if you ask about such things purely because you don't understand).


Workfair seem to be there for the times when an employer is completely ynreasonable which kind of precludes going and talking to them. Or to gather info on what I thought was a very interesting and sensible system out here, that doesn't usually happen in the UK.

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