Australian workplace rights
Whether you are new to the workforce, returning to work after an absence or changing jobs, you need to know the following before you commence work:
- how much you will be paid and your hours of work
- your working conditions
- will you be employed full-time, part time, casual or as a contractor
- whether your rights and conditions are determined by a federal or state award, collective agreement or an individual agreement
- whether you can join a union
- under what circumstances your employment can be lawfully terminated
All Australian workers have basic rights and protections in the workplace. In recent years, the laws affecting the rights and responsibilities of Australian workers have changed significantly. Use the links below if you are unsure about the current situation.
It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or those applying for employment on the grounds of race, colour, gender, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy , religion, political opinion, membership or non-membership of a union, national extraction or social origin. If you have a complaint about discrimination, seek advice from the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
Fair Work Australia provides information and advice on all workplace relations matters, including minimum wages and conditions and advice on workplace agreements.
Australian Government Workplace Ombudsman provides information and handles complaints on workplace rights and rules.
Facts sheet for international students on Australian workplace rights.
The Australian Industrial Relations Commission is an independent, national tribunal dealing with employment issues including unfair dismissal.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship provides information for international students working in Australia.
Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria can help to resolve complaints about discrimination, sexual harassment and racial vilification.
Australian Tax Office for tax and superannuation help.
WorkSafe Victoria provides information, advice and service on health, safety and welfare of Victorian workers in the workplace.