Whenever a young individual is entering the workforce for the first time in their life, it is important for them to find out and understand their rights, entitlements as well as the responsibilities as an employee. All of these will depend on whether you are in a full-time or part-time employment capacity.
Most full-time employees in Australia are entitled to 10 minimum entitlements also called National Employment Standards (NES). Full list and description of these is available on Fair Work Australia website. In a nut shell these deal with your required working hours, annual and long service leave, carer’s or personal/sick leave, paid public holidays and minimum termination notice period to mention the most important ones.
In addition to finding yourself in a full-time or part time casual employment, it is common for seasonal workers especially to be employed under so called fixed term employment capacity. This is very similar to full-time employees with the variation of knowing when your employment will be over. Pay, annual and personal leave are available to fixed term employees just the same way as they are for full time workers.
Six things that every young worker should remember are as follows:
- As a new employee, you are obliged to be provided with the information document about the terms and conditions of your employment as regulated by the Fair Work Australia’s Information Statement. Be sure to ask your employer for that employment document.
- Try to get the copy of your workplace agreement or at least ask your employer about what award or enterprise agreement you belong to. This may make the difference to your employment conditions and entitlements.
- Bear in mind that it would be unlawful for your new employer to ask you to sign any agreement that you are either not happy with or don’t understand to your satisfaction.
- If you work for the company that employs more than 15 staff, you are entitled to a redundancy pay out in case your work position is no longer available or the employer has become insolvent or bankrupt.
- You have a right to 1 year of unpaid parental leave provided you have 12 months of continuous employment service with this same employer.
- Given the reasonable justification, you are entitled to request flexible work arrangements. This includes situations where you are a carer or parent of a child that has not reached school age or your child has a disability and is under the age of 18.
It is worth mentioning that some of your minimum workplace entitlements may not apply if you are employed on part-time of casual basis.