Last updated 4 April 2017

The employment terms and conditions of a young worker will in most cases be governed by an enterprise agreement or an award. The agreement or award should be given to the young worker at the time they are employed, and they should have their working arrangements explained to them. Most large corporate employers, like McDonalds or Coles, will employ workers under an agreement while most small businesses will employ workers in accordance with an award. Awards and agreements can be found via the Fair Work Commission website.

Working in Queensland

Some young workers may also be employed in accordance with the Queensland Industrial Relations system. These are workers who are employed by the state government. State government working arrangements are found within the Industrial Relations Act 2016 (Qld) and the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld), and information about certified agreements and awards can be found on the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission website.

Casual work

Most young workers, who are not apprentices or trainees, will find themselves in precarious casual employment. Being a casual employee means there is no obligation on the employer to call on the worker to attend the workplace on a regular or ongoing basis. A casual worker’s employment begins at the start of the shift and ends when it is completed, and their shifts are generally subject to minimum shift lengths mandated by the agreement or the award.

Long-term or regular and systematically employed casual workers may have access to the unfair dismissal remedies in either the state or federal jurisdictions.