Workplace Law: What Are Your Rights As An Employee?

Updated on November 26, 2020

Employees in Australia have rights in the workplace and it’s important to that you understand what your rights are. The Fair Work Act 2009 provides employees with a range of protections and rights, designed to ensure that you are protected in the case of unlawful actions in the workplace that could impact you, the employee, directly or indirectly. 

As an employee in Australia, you should have a good knowledge of the conditions of your employment, rate of pay, working hours and your entitlements when it comes to breaks during your workday and annual leave. You should be able to work in a safe way that will not be harmful to you or others. Your employer is responsible for ensuring that the work environment is safe, that any necessary protective equipment is provided, that workers are not discriminated against or bullied in the workplace and that employees receive all that they are entitled to when it comes to payment and other conditions. If you feel your employer is not meeting their responsibilities, be sure to seek out the advice of experienced workplace lawyers to help resolve the issue. 

Continue reading below to learn more about your rights as an employee to help you determine if you are being treated unfairly in the workplace. 

Complaints Without Consequence

Employees should be able to have clear and open lines of communication with their employers, especially when it comes to making a complaint. You shouldn’t have to worry about any potential consequences of your filing a complaint or raising an issue with your employer. You have the right to complain about working conditions, how others are being treated, and anything else that affects your own employment in the workplace. You are legally protected from retaliation, termination or any other consequences from your employer. 

Correct Payment

It should go without saying, but you are legally entitled to all payments you are owed by your employer. Should your employer fail to pay you what you are entitled to, they can be issued a fine. However, if there is an issue with your payment, it’s wise to raise the issue with your employer first, as genuine mistakes with payroll and other accounting practices can happen.  

Protection From Discrimination

All employees in Australia are protected from discrimination at work. Discrimination can take many forms and your employer cannot legally enforce obstacles, deny advancements, not employ or terminate because of discrimination. Different forms of discrimination that you are legally protected from include; race/ethnicity, gender identity, nationality, age, parental responsibility, pregnancy, marital status, religion, social status, political views or due to any physical or mental disability. 

Harassment In The Workplace

Harassment can cover a number of issues such as bullying and sexual harassment. Bullying in the workplace can be difficult to define but generally speaking, it is when you are subject to unreasonable treatment at work that has a negative effect on your physical or mental health. Sexual harassment can take many different forms such as unwanted compliments, relentless advances from a coworker, physical contact and more. You are legally protected against sexual harassment and bullying and should file a complaint if you think you have been the victimised in the workplace. 

Fair Work Statement

As an employee in Australia, you are entitled to know your rights. In act, your employer should issue each employee with detailed information about the Fair Work so that they fully understand their rights within the workplace. If your employer fails to give you a copy of the Fair Work Information Statement before you begin employment, they are in breach of the Fair Work Act. 

Take The Time To Understand Your Employee Rights

Understanding your rights in the workplace as an employee is important in ensuring that your employer treats you fairly and correctly. With Australia’s robust workplace laws, there is a lot of protection in place for employees. Take the time to understand your employee rights so that you can ensure that you receive everything that you are entitled to and that you have every opportunity to progress in your role without having to face any unnecessary hurdles. 

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.