Fair Work Ombudsman to take part in O-Week

14 February 2013

Students who are working to help support themselves through uni this year are being encouraged to take advantage of O-Week to find out about their workplace rights.

The Fair Work Ombudsman will be at O-Week activities at 18 university campuses across Australia throughout February and March and can help students make sure they get their full entitlements if they’re working their way through uni.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson, said knowledge was the best defence for young workers to protect their rights and avoid exploitation.

“Money is usually tight when you’re a student, so it’s important for students who work to know what their entitlements are and ensure they receive them,” Mr Wilson said.

“Students will be able to talk to Fair Work advisors and learn about their workplace rights and how the Fair Work Ombudsman can help them if they have a problem with their employer.”

Fair Work representatives will attend O-week activities at:


  • Canberra Institute of Technology, Bruce campus, March 19


  • University of Technology Sydney, City campus, February 21
  • Charles Sturt University, Wagga campus, February 25
  • Charles Sturt University, Orange campus, February 25
  • University of NSW, Kensington campus, February 27


  • Darwin: Charles Darwin University, Casuarina campus, February 27


  • James Cook University, Cairns campus, February 26
  • Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point campus, February 26
  • Central Queensland University, Rockhampton campus, March 6


  • University of South Australia, City East campus, February 28


  • University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus, February 26


  • Victoria University, Footscray campus, February 25
  • La Trobe University, Bendigo campus, February 26
  • RMIT University, City campus, February 28


  • Murdoch University, Murdoch campus, February 14
  • Edith Cowan University, South West campus, February 20
  • University of Western Australia, Crawley campus, February 22
  • Curtin University, Bentley campus, February 27

“Students, especially those recently arrived in Australia, can be particularly vulnerable in the workplace,” Mr Wilson said.

“They often are unaware of what their pay and conditions should be and in the case of international students, can be reluctant to raise concerns with their employer.”

A number of the O-Week stalls will be run in conjunction with Fair Work Building & Construction who will be able to assist with questions regarding the building and construction industry.

Mr Wilson said basic information students should be aware of include:

  • Extended unpaid work trials are generally unlawful
  • You must be given a pay slip within one day of being paid
  • You should keep a record of hours worked including meal breaks and pay, as it will help in settling any dispute with your employer
  • Money cannot be deducted from your wages if customers leave without paying or if the cash register is short
  • You must be paid for all hours you work, including trial shifts or probation periods, meetings, training and extra time spent opening or closing a business
  • Your employment can’t be terminated for asking your employer about your pay and entitlements or for contacting the Fair Work Ombudsman
  • If you are paid in cash, check your pay slip to make sure tax has been taken out of your pay. Your employer must take tax out of your pay
  • If you are worried about the consequences of complaining - be aware that
    complaints can be made with the Fair Work Ombudsman confidentially.

For more information, students can visit www.fairwork.gov.au/youngworkers.

Any employer or employee, including students, seeking assistance can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free information and advice.

A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50 and information on the website is translated into 27 different languages.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png or find us on Facebook external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

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