Young workers & students

Starting work can be an exciting time. While every workplace is different, there are rights and responsibilities that apply to all employees. Follow the tips below to help prepare for a new job:

Know your rights

When you accept a job offer there are some things you should find out from your employer as soon as possible, including:

  • your pay rate
  • whether you're full time, part time or casual (this affects your hours of work, pay rate and leave entitlements)
  • your hours of work
  • what your job duties will be
  • whether there’s an award or registered agreement covering your job
  • if there's a probationary period for your job.

There are also minimum workplace rights that can't be taken away from you, called the National Employment Standards. These standards cover your right to pay, leave and notice if you get fired. 

Know your responsibilities

You also have responsibilities as an employee. These include performing all the duties of your job, being punctual and reliable, and following workplace policies and procedures, including those that relate to health and safety.

Prepare for your first day

Your first day can be overwhelming. Make sure you're prepared by finding out:

  • where you need to go, how to get there, and what time you should arrive
  • the dress code for your job
  • whether there's any paperwork you need to complete
  • who your supervisor is.

Resolve issues

Issues can occur in the workplace. It's important to deal with issues as they arise and talk to your employer if something is making you uncomfortable. If you're unsure about how to start this conversation, take our free 'difficult conversations' course in our Online Learning Centre.

Get the most out of your job

A new job can provide you with a lot of opportunities - be sure to make the most of it. Check with your employer to see how you're performing and always look for ways to improve the way you work. 

Unpaid work

As a young person or student, you may be offered a trial or internship where you don’t get paid. Sometimes it’s okay not to be paid when you are doing a trial or an internship.

But if you are actually working as an employee you should be paid.

Find out more about:

Helpful resources

We have specialised resources for young workers. Check out our Guide to starting a new job (PDF 250.8KB) and watch our young worker’s videos (below) for helpful tips.  

You can also test your knowledge with our Workplace Basics quiz, which has sections on everyday issues like pay, leave, termination and more. You'll get feedback, links to resources and information and once you've finished, you can download a completion certificate.



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