Young people should not be seen as easy targets for dodgy bosses. Just because you’re young, that doesn’t mean that you should be paid less, treated with disrespect, or made to work in unsafe conditions.  

No matter how old you are, where you are from, what your gender is, or whether it’s your first job, you have legal rights when you’re at work. 

Learning about those legal rights is the first step to making sure you don’t get ripped off. The next step is joining together with your fellow workers and your class-mates to take collective action. 

Joining a Union 

Every worker has the legal right to join a union. There is a union for every kind of job and every workplace. Union members are paid more and have better working conditions than non-members. Joining a union is completely confidential–you don’t need to tell the boss, your co-workers or your parents. Unions can: 

  • Help ensure you get treated fairly and paid properly 
  • Help you improve your pay and conditions, including safety at work 
  • Help you if you have a question or issue at work 
  • Help support campaigns about important issues outside of the workplace. 

Unions are the most effective way to take action.

It is illegal for you to be discriminated against just because you join a union. 

To find out more about how to join your union, visit http://www.unionsact.org.au/joinyourunion/ or have a look at our fact sheet here.

Fair Work Ombudsman 

The Fair Work Ombudsman is an independent statutory office, meaning it is set up through legislation. The Ombudsman is a free service to all workers and employers. If you think you are being exploited at work or something has happened that you feel is not right, the Ombudsman can handle complaints, and in some cases, enforce them in a court or tribunal.
https://www.fairwork.gov.au/

Safe Work Australia

If you have been hurt or injured at work, you should seek First Aid or help from a medical professional. You should also report the incident as soon as possible. Contact WorkSafe ACT if you have any issues with Work Health and Safety or worker's compensation. https://www.accesscanberra.act.gov.au/app/home/workhealthandsafety

If you have a problem or think something doesn’t feel right 

Contact us at the Young Workers Centre. We can give you advice about what you are entitled to, and help you decide what to do. We can also direct you to other people who can help.

Authorised by M Harrison for UnionsACT, 11 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601.

Did this answer your question?