Casual summer jobs are a great way to earn a bit of money and get some work experience. A good job might even be fun and a great way to meet new people. And there’s lots of good bosses out there.
But all too often unscrupulous employers try to rip off young workers. If you know your rights, you know when you’re being ripped off – and, together with the Young Workers Centre and your union, we can do something about it.
The best tips for making sure you are getting paid right:
- get a contract or a letter which outlines your pay, which Award you are covered by, your likely hours, and your conditions of employment;
- keep your pay slips (you should get a detailed pay slip from your employer within one day of pay day);
- keep copies of your roster AND keep diary notes of the hours you actually work – if your roster and your pay slips don’t match your diary record or hours actually worked, something is probably not right!
- talk to other workers – you are absolutely allowed to talk about what you get paid and your conditions of employment.
Based on lots of stories we’ve heard from young workers, here’s some of the definitely NOT LEGIT practices you might see – or that bosses might try to get you to accept – but which you don’t have to put up with. Let us know if this happens to you or someone else at your work and we can give you some (free and confidential) info and advice:
- Not getting pay slips (or getting pay slips late, irregularly, or with very little detail). Pay slips are a super important record of your pay and hours as well as superannuation and tax withheld. If you’re not getting them, it can indicate that something is not right.
- Not getting paid minimum wage + casual loading. Minimum wage is not optional – employers must pay the minimum wage for your age and job, even if you ‘agree’ to less. If you are casual, you must get an extra 25% per hour on top of the minimum hourly wage.
- Being asked to do multiple UNPAID trial shifts or trial shifts that are longer than an hour or two or which are unsupervised. Unpaid trial shifts are only okay for as long as needed to assess whether you could do the job.
- Being paid a ‘training rate’ for your first few shifts. If you work, your employer has to pay the minimum wage for your job. Unless you’re on a registered trainee-ship, there is no such thing as a training rate. Your employer has to pay for the training you need for the job.
- Being asked to buy your uniform or protective equipment (aprons, hair nets etc.). If you have to wear it for the job – and it’s not a normal item of clothing you could reasonably be expected to already own, your employer has to pay for it (or reimburse you for it). In some cases, your employer also has to pay for laundry expenses. Ask us for more info!
- Not getting paid more for evening/ overnight/ weekend/ public holiday work. Most likely as a casual worker, you will be entitled to penalty rates which is an extra payment for working outside ordinary hours. If your rate doesn’t change on the weekend, that could mean that you’re being underpaid. We can help you work out what your rate should be.
- Being asked to open/close without getting paid – for example, getting to work at 8.15am to open up and set up but not getting paid until the shop opens at 8.30am. If you’re working, you must be paid. All the hours that you work.
If any of these warning signs sound familiar, get in touch with the Young Workers Centre: www.wordpress-370095-1161018.cloudwaysapps.com