Five ways young workers get RIPPED OFF over summer

January 10, 2017

TWU members should be aware that while most Australians are intent on enjoying the holiday season – there are some unscrupulous employers who love nothing more than ripping off secondary students and young people starting their first jobs. This happens everywhere – including the transportation sector.

To wipe out this sort of workplace exploitation, it is important that all young people know their rights and make sure they get the entitlements and working conditions they deserve. Parents can help their children learn about their rights and help teenage children keep written records of their shifts, pay, starting and finish times and roster arrangements.

If you believe a young person working in the transportation sector is being taken advantage of, contact the TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) on 1300 727 614.

The ACTU have also set up the Check Your Pay service that allows young workers to check what pay they are owed.

Five ways young workers get ripped off in summer jobs:

1. Unpaid trials
2. Underpayment of wages and penalty rates
3. Workplace health and safety – inductions and injuries
4. Rostering arrangements
5. Non-payment of superannuation

The warnings follow allegations published last week that Bakers Delight workers, many of whom are teenagers and some on as little as $8 an hour, are being kept on an outdated contract from the unpopular WorkChoices era that drastically reduces weekend penalty rates.

An ACTU study conducted in September last year found more than 50 percent of young workers said they knew they weren’t getting paid the right amount, and 56 per cent said they weren’t getting the right on-the-job training.

ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said that, for a start, unpaid trials are against the law.

“Young people must be paid for every hour worked, including for staff meetings and training. Even in a probationary or qualifying period young employees are still entitled to be paid their full hourly rate of pay,” he said.

“Young workers are often paid below the minimum rate in the relevant award or agreement. Depending on age, it might be appropriate for employers to pay a junior rate, but employers must explain the pay structure clearly to new starters.”

Young workers are also more vulnerable to workplace injuries, particularly in construction, retail, manufacturing and hospitality, and should be taught how to do manual handling safely and how to properly operate machinery.

It is also important for young people to be informed about the hours of work they are expected to work, breaks they’re entitled to and any shift or penalty rates they should be getting. The award or agreement will stipulate the ordinary hours of work for the industry and minimum or maximum hours per shift.

Young workers over the age of 18 are entitled to be paid 9.5 per cent of their wages in compulsory super if they earn more than $450, before tax, in a calendar month – regardless of whether they are permanent or casual employees.




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