Survey shows IR changes will make young workers vulnerable

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Survey shows IR changes will make young workers vulnerable

Young people will be among the hardest hit by the Howard Government’s proposed workplace changes because they have a limited understanding of their rights, a new survey shows.

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15/05

Young people will be among the hardest hit by the Howard Government’s proposed workplace changes because they have a limited understanding of their rights, a new survey shows. 

NSW Minister for Industrial Relations, John Della Bosca, said a Young People and Work Survey of 5000 young people aged 12-25 shows they are very easily exploited. 

Results of survey

The survey, done by the Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training (acirrt) shows:  

  • 50% of those who thought they were ongoing employees received no paid leave

  • 50% had not received any written information from their employees about pay

  • 25% never received pay slips

  • Casuals who did not receive payslips were twice as likely to work unpaid overtime

  • 25% were unable to correctly identify whether they were casuals or ongoing employees.

Young people at risk

‘Howard’s plans to push workers into individual contracts, to abolish state-based industrial relations systems and remove unfair dismissal protection will be devastating for young people,’ Della Bosca said. 

‘This survey demonstrates that even with the existing safety net in place, young vulnerable employees are in no position to negotiate their own overtime, penalty rates, holidays or redundancy arrangements. 

‘Clearly young people are entering the workforce with a limited understanding of their rights and entitlements and, sadly, some employers are ready to exploit this weakness.’

Della Bosca said the Howard Government’s ‘radical’ industrial relations proposals will make young workers more vulnerable ‘and will remove many of the protections they need’. 

‘Young people currently have the advantage of a State-based industrial relations safety net with award protection and active State inspectors who can help them recover wages and entitlements,’ he said. 

‘These protections are clearly necessary, but will be lost if the Commonwealth proceeds with its plans.’

Related 

Non-unionists to be hit by Howard's 'reforms', says union leader 

 

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