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Keeping a Job

Your Rights

It’s important that you know your rights so that employers can’t take advantage of you- which unfortunately happens sometimes, particularly to young people. The best way to handle this is to make sure you know all terms of employment before you accept the job. Make sure you ask:

  1. How much will I be paid?
  2. Will I be expected to work overtime?
  3. What happens if I work overtime? (ie. Will I be paid, will I get to take time off later?)
  4. Do I get paid more at night or on weekends?)
  5. What happens with lunch breaks?

If you’re not happy with these, you can try negotiating or you can choose not to take the job. It saves a lot of trouble and worry if you’re clear on these terms upfront. If you’re not quite sure what’s fair or normal, ask around friends and family or you can call the government’s workplace infoline for advice on 1300 363 264.

Legal Aid is a useful link and valuable service that gives you lots of information on your rights at work. They are also really good to contact for legal information and support if you feel you are not being treated fairly.

Your Responsibilities

Once you have landed a job there are things you need to do to make sure you keep it. The main one is being reliable. You should turn up to work on time every day. If you know ahead of time that you can’t come to work on a particular day, or you need to leave early, let your boss or manager know as soon as you can. If you’ve shown to be reliable in the past chances are they will try to accommodate your needs.

You also need to be seen to be working hard. This might mean meeting project deadlines on time, pleasing clients or selling a certain amount of stock. Make sure you know exactly what is expected of you at work, (ask your supervisor if it’s not clear) and do your best to meet those expectations. Even if you don’t like your job, you can make sure you get a good reference from it to help get a better job in the future.

Workplace Agreements

An Australian workplace agreement is an individual written agreement between an employer and employee that sets out terms and conditions of employment. You can’t be made to sign a workplace agreement on the spot. Always tell the employer that you’d like to take it home overnight and get a friend or adult to go through it with you. The above infoline is also helpful for this.


You can check whether you are being paid the correct amount for your job by going to the WA Pay Checker. Click here to go to WA Pay Checker. If you’re not being paid enough you can speak to your employer about it or if you don’t feel comfortable you can get help from the website below. The link below is also good to for more information on rates of pay, conditions of employment and workplace awards and agreements: Wageline