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Things your employer cannot do in Australia

Some employers are very abusive. They take advantage of you, financially and mentality. Don’t suffer in silence, excise your rights. Do not be dismissed unfairly. Things your employer cannot do in Australia gives you an undertanding of what is right and wrong.

Many migrants and foreign workers are mistreated

30 percent of the Australian workforce is foreign born. Furthermore the Federal government is upping the intake of skill workers from overseas. Many come from countries and regions where employees have very little or limited rights. They do not understand their rights here. Nor in many instances do they want to cause trouble, concerned about it may lessen their ability to stay in Australia. Alternatively many come from counties if you cause what is perceived as trouble, you disappear.

Equally many new Australian’s get into business or represent companies that are foreign owned who are not used to or want to know about paying the correct entitlements or treating employees properly under the Fair work Act and Australian law. Things your employer cannot do in Australia is worth a brief read to realize if your treated fairly. Also what your options are.

The topics are brief and to the point, they only act as prompter for further enquiries or action. Your always welcome to call us if it assist.

Unfair dismissal

Employers cannot simply get rid of you. A lot of employers are used to working or conducting business in countries that have no dismissal laws. Subject to some qualification periods you have rights as to how the employer dismisses you under the Fair work Act 2009. Claims must be lodged within 21 days with the Fair work Commission

Long service leave

LSL is state based legislation and you have to check the legislation in the state your from what you may be entitled to. A lot of employers are not aware that long service leave is payable. Or conveniently forget. Long service leave is based on your length of service. This includes casual, part time and fulltime. However the service must be continuous. For Victoria LSL, click here, NSW LSL, click here, QLD, LSL, click here

Things-your-employer-cannot-do-in-Australia. Verbal-you-then-dismiss-you.
Some employers will verbal you. They will invade your personal space to intimidate you. Employees on visa’s become too scared to push back. They don’t insist on being paid properly or report the employer to the appropriate authority. Many workers are on sponsored visa’s and worried they will be deported if they complain.


Redundancy is calculated on a sliding scale that is based on years of service. Small business does not have to pay redundancy pay (under 15 employees). Many employers do not agree with the ideas of having to pay this. Section 389 of the Fair work Act deals with the criteria of what’s a genuine redundancy. What is a common threat is employers will make your position redundant if you do not accept lower pay for the same job.

Not pay you on time

In Australia you must be paid on a systematic or regular basis. Not when the item is sold, or at the end of the season. Or let me work out how much money I’ve made, then i will decide how much to pay you says the employer. Some employers request you lend then money, they will pay the over time latter, take time off in Liu instead of being paid. Many of these arrangements are not in writing then when your dismissed, or resign to go to a better job, the employer denies the arrangements.

Don’t be bullied or harassed because of who you are or where your from. You cannot be treated differently or less favourably because of your gneder, nationality or religion. Get advice, give us a call.

Wage theft

There are minimum wages as her the award system or under the National Employment Standards (NES), that must be paid. Many young people and migrants get paid sub standard wages. The Fair work Ombudsman will chase up any under payments for you. Insist on pay slips with your hourly rate and hours worked. Oddly enough the employer does not have to put your LSL or sick leave accrual on the pay slip Then when you get ill and it becomes a issue, all of a sudden the sick leave seems to have disappeared and is now a issue. Keep your own records, its not that hard of you do it on a ongoing basis.

Bully and harass you

You cannot be bullied or harassed by your employer. Examples are being threatened, sworn at, threatened with the loss of your job to work harder, you will be deported You can lodge a Anti bullying complaint (Form F72) with the fair work commission.

Work in the heat and the rain

There are rules around temperatures and weather you do not have to work in. Usually this is set out in the award that covers that industry. Its also a OH&s issue, if your health or safety is at risk. This is particularly so around high risk sites, examples of this are high rise buildings, construction sites, road works.

Controlling, threatening to dismiss you. They will cancel your visa’s and have you deported. Many employees are threatened with police action.

Unsafe working conditions (OH&S issues)

Being forced to work in asbestos areas, busy traffic, unsafe heights is just naming a few. There is a work safe authority in each state. They should be contacted to clarify your particular circumstances. In Victoria, click here, NSW, click here, QLD, click here

Sexually harassment

You should not be harassed or mistreated because of who you are. The sexual harassment and discrimination laws are strong in Australia. To put up with being sexual harassed to keep your job, or to allow this to happen get overtime should be reported. Claims can be lodged in state based commission or anti discrimination boards or the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Pay for your work visa

This is a cost for the employer, this is made clear in the Migration Act. Many migrants are forced to repay their employer for the cost of the work visa and associated cost. This is a reportable offence. Equally the threats that the employer will cancel your sponsorship if you don’t work additional hours for free, etc.

This still happens in some workplaces. These toxic workplaces still exist. Don’t be harassed or bullied. I have a saying “don’t suffer in silence”. Stand up for yourself, keep your self respect.

Conclusion to: Things your employer cannot do in Australia

I hope this brief article has given you a insight into your rights. We at A Whole New Approach P/L are here to help you. We are not lawyers but the nations leading workplace advisors and commentators. The topics set out in this brief article are topics we get calls about daily. Many employees know they have rights but are hesitant to excise them. They don’t want to be seen as causing trouble. Many are waiting for permanent residency or Australian citizenship and won’t do anything that will adversely effect that process.

You have rights under the general protections and adverse action provisions of the Fair work Act. As a casual employee you have rights, (many new comers to Australia start off in casual employment) these are little understood. Your all ways welcome to give us a call, its free and confidential.

Free call 1800 333 666 for a confidential chat.

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