Employment

Employment

This video provides basic legal information about Australia's legal system for people new to Australia. It is the part of a series of videos about the law for people who have recently arrived in Australia.  See more videos at What's the law?

Transcript

Text: Employment

Alice is working in a pub kitchen. Her boss, Tom comes into the kitchen.

[Vision changes to Alice washing the dishes.]

[Vision changes to Tom coming into the kitchen.]

[Vision changes to close-up of Tom.]

Tom: Alice, we haven’t had many customers tonight so we can’t pay you any cash. Instead,

we will give you a free meal for your work. The chef has made delicious fish and chips tonight!

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice looking confused.]

Alice: Oh. Ok.

[Vision changes to Alice, looking peeved, eating her free meal in the kitchen.]

Alice is walking along a laneway when she sees her friend Lyn.

[Vision changes to Lyn waving.]

Lyn: Alice, hi! 

[Vision changes to Alice smiling.]

Alice: Hi Lyn! How’s your new job at the call centre?

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: Great. I’ve been there for six months now. And I just got a promotion. What about you?

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.]

Alice: I’m still at the pub, working in the kitchen.

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: Is it good pay at the pub?

[Vision changes to Alice, looking upset, eating another free meal in the kitchen.]

Alice: It depends on whether it’s a busy night. If they can’t pay me, they give me a meal

instead.

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: But a meal is not pay! Do you get paid an hourly rate when you work?

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.]

Alice: If nobody comes into the pub, how can they pay me?

[Vision changes to Alice and Lyn talking.]

Lyn: They have to pay you. What about penalty rates: do you get paid more when you work

weekends?

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.]

Alice: No

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: Do you get paid superannuation?

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.]

Alice: I don’t think so. I know it sounds bad but they’re really nice people. And I like working there.

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: Listen, do you have a pay slip I could look at? 

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.]

Alice: What’s a pay slip?

[Vision changes to Lyn showing Alice a pay slip on her mobile phone.]

Lyn: It’s a document you get every time you get paid. I get mine by email. See?

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice and Lyn looking at the mobile phone.]

I also put the hours I work each day into my phone so I can check to make sure I get paid for

all the hours I have worked. 

[Vision changes to close up of pay slip on Lyn’s mobile phone.]

Lyn: It says the hours you have worked and how much you get paid. It also says how much tax

you pay to the government. And how much superannuation your boss pays for you.

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.

Alice: I don’t get a pay slip. I usually just get cash at the end of every week.

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: You have rights at work, you know. Like the right to be paid properly and to get a pay slip.

[Vision changes to Tom handing Alice cash.]

Lyn: If you are being paid cash in hand, your boss might not be paying proper tax for you, and

you could end up owing a lot of money. 

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: And it might be harder for you to get some things that you have a right to when you have

a job.

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.]

Alice: Like what?

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: Well, usually if you get hurt at work you can make a Work Cover claim, then you might

get money to help pay for medical bills or payment if you can’t work. It might be hard to do this

if you get paid cash in hand and don’t have a pay slip. You should get some advice about your

pay and your rights at work.

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.]

Alice: Where can I get advice? I don’t want to get into trouble with my boss.

[Vision changes to close-up of Lyn.]

Lyn: There are free services that can give you information and advice. You won’t get in to

trouble for getting help. They won’t say anything to your boss unless you want them to.

Alice is at home on the phone to a Victoria Legal Aid lawyer. 

[Vision changes to Alice on the telephone.]

Alice: Hello, my name is Alice. I need some advice about my pay at work.

[Vision changes to split screen of Alice and Lawyer talking on the telephone.]

Lawyer: Sure, Alice. Let’s go through the details and work out how we can help you. In

Australia, the law sets a minimum wage for all workers. A minimum wage is the lowest amount

that you can legally get paid. The amount will still depend on what sort of work you do. 

[Vision changes to close-up of Lawyer.]

Lawyer: So firstly, can you tell me about your job, and what your duties are? Once we’ve done

that, you may want to talk to your boss about your pay and your rights at work. It’s also a good

idea to email, text or write a letter. Keep a copy of all your emails, texts or letters so that you

have proof about when you raised your concerns and what you said.

[Vision changes to close-up of Alice.]

Alice: But what if that doesn’t make any difference, and my boss continues to pay me the

same?

[Vision changes to close-up of Lawyer.]

Lawyer: If your boss still doesn’t pay you properly, you could make a complaint to the Fair 

Work Ombudsman. They might talk to your boss, or send him a letter or ask your boss to meet

with you to talk about it together. They might also take your boss to court for doing the wrong

thing.

[Vision changes to split screen of Alice and Lawyer.]

Lawyer: If that still doesn’t change anything, you could take your boss to court. The court can

order your boss to pay you any money he owes you, and a fine as well. You can get an

interpreter, if you need one, when you speak to the Fair Work Ombudsman or if you go to

court. 

[Vision changes to close-up of Lawyer.]

Lawyer: If you lose your job or have all your shifts cut suddenly after you have complained to

your boss or the Fair Work Ombudsman, call us back straight away. You only have a short

time to file an unfair dismissal claim.