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Know your rights at work

Wage theft is a serious issue affecting hundreds of thousands of Australians. Underpayment of hours of work, superannuation and overtime are just some of the ways in which workers are being robbed of their legal entitlements.

With an impending decision from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) that could see crucial Sunday penalty rates slashed for thousands of hard-working Australians, there has never been a more important time to know your rights at work.

Minimum wage and awards, penalty rates and entitlements are not simply at the discretion of an employer – they are legal requirements that must be met.

Reports last year that workers had been cheated of $3.6 billion in unpaid super reveal the high stakes of letting entitlements slide and highlight the vital importance of understanding what you should be receiving, both in take-home pay and retirement savings.

The best way to ensure you are receiving all your workplace entitlements is to join a union (

The FWC sets minimum wages and conditions for agreements and awards so, for example, if you’re working on a public holiday and don’t receive the legal penalty rates, chances are you’re being duped by your employer. Don’t leave it up to your employer; make sure your salary and entitlements are in line with industry legal standards by using Australian unions’ new website or by contacting us on 1300 486 466.

Most importantly, if you think you’re not getting what you’re entitled to don’t stay silent; make sure you ask for advice. Unions are always there to provide crucial information to make sure you’re getting your rights at work.

Let’s make 2017 the year we all get to know our rights at work and make sure you are getting the pay you are entitled to.

Scott Connolly is assistant secretary to the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Written by Scott Connolly

Scott Connolly

Scott Connolly is assistant secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

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