Fair Work Act – What is it and how can it help you?

By Eric Le

My name is Eric, I am third year student at Griffith University majoring in Public Relations and English Linguistics.

I am currently completing my PR internship at Unitemps Griffith.  I wish I had of known about the Fair Work Act at the beginning of my working life, and I would like to share with you how knowing Fair Work inside and out can protect you during your career.



Unitemps’ main goal is to provide full time and part time employment opportunities for university students and graduates. As some of our students and graduates are still fresh and unfamiliar with the working environment, we would like to highlight the 2009 Fair Work Act and how it can help students protect their rights in the workplace. The Fair Work Act is the main legislation that regulates Australia’s employers. It is important for employers in all industries and all workers and potential workers to know about the Fair Work Act.

So firstly, what is the Fair Work Act and what can it do to protect university students and graduates?

The Fair Work Act can protect you from being exploited, discriminated against or mistreated by your employers. It is very important for students to become familiar with the act before starting work in Australia. At Unitemps, before we give you an employment opportunity, we also provide you with a copy of some key information about the Fair Work Act so that you can know your rights in the workplace. If you want to get to know more about the Fair Work Act, here is a link to the legislation website: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017C00323

According to Australian government statistics from February 2018, there are currently around 510,000 international students in Australia, an increase of 12% from February last year. Because of that, International students are becoming an important part of the Australian employment scene. Most international students are not accustomed to the Australian working environment or its rules and regulations which could make them vulnerable to exploitation from employers. Unitemps value international students very highly but this is not the case with all employers so I would like to share my past experience working part time while studying in Australia

I am a Vietnamese international student. I have lived and studied in Australia for two and a half years and I have had many part time jobs during that time. I found out that there are many employers who would like to take advantage of the fact that international students do not know much about the rules and regulations in Australia and they will try to exploit or mistreat you for their own gain.

Once, I worked in a place that would not pay me for working trials at their restaurant. There were also places that would pay me at a lower rate than they would pay their other employees because they knew that I was an international student.  During that time, I did not know anything about the Fair Work Act and I let myself to be exploited by these employers. So it is very important for international students to understand the Fair Work Act and the protection that it may provide you. It is Unitemps Griffith’s mission to ensure international students work in fair and safe workplaces so that you can experience working and studying here in Australia to its fullest.

If part time working International and domestic students or full time working graduates suffer from violation of the Fair Work Act, they can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) for advice on their options.

To Contact the FWO, students and graduates in Queensland can contact the FWO as follow

  • Translating and interpreting service: 13 14 50

These are a few things that we think could help you protect your rights in the workplace and ensure make your working career more satisfying. For more information on the Fair Work Ombudsman and how they could help you, You can visit their website at: www.fairwork.gov.au


Author: griffithuniversitycareersservice

Welcome to Griffith Careers Service Blog! Here you will find informative and inspiring tips and articles related to part-time, casual and full time graduate employment.

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