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Unpaid work can include work trials, volunteer work, work experience and internships. It also includes a vocational placement as defined under the Fair Work Act 2009.
There are many legitimate work-based learning programs and placements that give students and young workers an opportunity to get work experience. These placements are usually linked directly to formalised training through universities or other training institutions.
If the work isn’t a genuine vocational placement, work experience or volunteer arrangement, the person may be an employee under the Fair Work Act. Under the Fair Work Act, employees are entitled to minimum rates of pay and workplace conditions provided in the National Employment Standard and any applicable modern award or agreement.
In this section, you’ll find information about some of the types of unpaid work arrangements and problems that can occur.
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The Fair Work Ombudsman is committed to providing advice that you can rely on.
The information contained on this website is general in nature. If you are unsure about how it applies to your situation you can call our Infoline on 13 13 94 or speak with a union, industry association or workplace relations professional.
Visitors are warned that this site may inadvertently contain names or pictures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have recently died.
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