Whether you are new to the workforce, returning to work after an absence or changing jobs, before you start a new job you need to know:

  • how much you will be paid and your hours of work
  • your working conditions
  • whether you will be employed full-time, part-time, casual or as a contractor
  • whether your rights and conditions are determined by a federal or state award, collective agreement or an individual agreement
  • whether you can join a union
  • under what circumstances your employment can be terminated.

The industrial relations system is designed to balance the needs of employees, employers and unions. Fair Work Australia is an independent national workplace relations tribunal that has the power to carry out a number of functions relating to:

  • minimum wages and employment conditions
  • enterprise bargaining
  • industrial action
  • dispute resolution
  • termination of employment
  • other workplace matters.

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or those applying for employment on the grounds of race, colour, gender, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, membership or non-membership of a union, national extraction or social origin. If you have a complaint about discrimination, seek advice from the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.