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Young Workers Centre YWC
News from young workers

FAQs: I'm thinking about quitting

When your job sucks it’s tempting to throw in the towel.  

But quitting (obviously) leaves you without a job and an income, and in some cases it robs you of the pay or compensation that your workplace owes you.  

While there are some avenues to pursue claims after quitting your job, resigning can make it much harder to resolve issues of discrimination, bullying, harassment, or unfair treatment.  

Consider your options 

There are alternatives to quitting. Go ahead and make a list of the reasons you want to leave – whether it’s bad pay, a painful manager, or unsustainable workload.  

Now, make a clear-eyed list of the benefits of your current job – maybe you love your coworkers, or it’s close to home, or maybe you’re passionate about the work.  

Now consider what it would take to change the things you hate about your job – and whether there are others at the workplace who would also benefit from that change. Have you spoken to your coworkers about this problem? What if you could work together to solve it? 

Congratulations – you just started a union organising push! 

What if I feel unsafe at my work? 

No job is worth your safety- so it’s important to make sure you don’t put yourself in an unsafe situation. If you don’t feel safe going in to work, then reach out to your GP and they can help you provide evidence to take sick leave. If you’re full-time or part-time, you’re entitled to a minimum of 10 paid days sick leave per year and up to 3 months of unpaid sick leave if you don’t have any paid sick leave accrued. Sick leave can be used for both your physical and mental health, but your doctor doesn’t need to specify why you’re taking the leave.  

Even if you don’t have any sick leave, you have a right to a safe workplace, and it is your employer’s responsibility to provide one. If you are unsafe at work due to physical or mental hazards (which could include stress), your OHS representative or union delegate could advocate for changes to your work patterns, rosters, or locations so that you are not endangered at work.  

Ultimately these OHS powers are a powerful means to fix the problems that make you want to quit. A properly elected Health and Safety Representative (HSR) can even order a temporary cease work (Provisional Improvement Notice) if they believe workers are in danger and management is not addressing the issue.  

What if I’m being forced to resign?  

Employers will often attempt to get employees to quit rather than fire them to avoid paying out entitlements like notice and redundancy pay.  

Resigning from your job could also mean you can’t make an unfair dismissal claim, even if you feel like you’ve been pressured into quitting.  

If you feel like you’re being pressured to resign or being given an ultimatum about resigning or being fired, it’s important to seek legal advice as soon as possible before making your decision.