Examples of assistance we provide
Young workers come to us with many different problems. Our lawyers and organisers will work together to determine the best way that we can help.
Everything you tell us is confidential. We will never contact your boss without your written permission.
Below are some examples of young people we have assisted. These examples are anonymised blends of different clients, and are deliberately simplified.
Husain works as a dishwasher at a café. He is still employed. He usually worked weekdays after school, but was about to start picking up weekend shifts. He wanted to know if he was currently being paid properly, and if should be paid extra for working on Saturdays.
We spoke to Husain and advised him which award covered him. Fortunately, Husain was being paid correctly. We told him how much he should get for weekend work.
We checked in with Husain a few weeks later and confirmed that he was being paid proper penalty rates.
Termination of employment
Antonia worked as an electrical apprentice for two years. After being injured at work, her employer dismissed her.
We helped Antonia file an unfair dismissal application in the Fair Work Commission. We represented her at conciliation, where she settled for six weeks pay.
We also referred Antonia to another organisation who helped her make a WorkCover claim.
Riley worked in a café for five years. They started off as a dishwasher and eventually became an assistant manager. Throughout their employment, they were paid below the minimum award rate.
We helped calculate Riley’s unpaid wages. We wrote to Riley’s employer on their behalf. After some negotiation, Riley’s employer agreed to pay back Riley’s unpaid wages.
Wage theft and apprenticeship issues
Lloyd did his entire apprenticeship with the same employer. He was paid as a junior apprentice despite being 21 when his apprenticeship began. His employer refused to reimburse his TAFE fees. Lloyd was not paid any travel allowance despite using his own car for work.
We helped calculate Lloyd’s unpaid entitlements. We wrote to Lloyd’s employer on his behalf. Lloyd’s employer did not reply to our letter, so we began legal proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Lloyd and his employer reached a settlement at mediation.
Jessie worked as an apprentice hairdresser for seven months. Jessie is autistic and is being treated for anxiety and depression. Jessie asked her boss for additional support while learning, including more one-on-one feedback and to work in a quieter area. Jessie’s boss refused to support her, and made fun of her in front of everyone for asking. Jessie resigned soon after.
We helped Jessie make a complaint to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. After some negotiation, Jessie’s employer paid her a settlement amount as compensation for her distress and for lost earnings.
Lizzie worked at a department store for four months. Soon after she started, her immediate manager Jason began to sexually harass her. Lizzie tried to ask the store’s owner for help, but nothing changed. Jason and Lizzie were regularly rostered on closing shifts together. After one of these shifts, Jason attempted to sexually assault Lizzie. Lizzie resigned from her job the next day.
We helped Lizzie file an equal opportunity complaint at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal against both Jason and her employer. At mediation, the employer and Jason agreed to pay Lizzie a settlement amount for her distress and for lost earnings.