Common issues with unpaid work – avoid the pitfalls
Dec 03, 2020
Unpaid work trials
Sometimes employer might ask a job applicant to do an unpaid work trial to evaluate them for a vacancy. This is used to determine if the applicant is suitable for the job by getting them to demonstrate their skills.
Unpaid work trials are only OK if it’s for the purpose of demonstrating the skills required for the job. Depending on the nature of the work, this could range from one hour to one shift. Job applicants must also be directly supervised during the trial. Job applicants must be directly supervised during the trial.
Any period beyond what is reasonably required to demonstrate a job applicant’s suitability must be paid at the appropriate minimum rate of pay. Any period beyond what is reasonably required to demonstrate a job applicant’s suitability must be paid at the appropriate minimum pay rate. More information about unpaid trials including case studies is available on the Fair Work Ombudsman's website.
Payment for time worked
An employer might ask an employee to do formal or informal training to make sure they have the right skills and knowledge to perform their job. This can include on-the-job training, online or formal training courses or team training. If an employee has to Employers might ask employees to do some training. If employees have to do training as part of their job, the employee has to be paid the right pay for those hours worked.
An employee also has to be paid the right pay for time spent in team meetings or opening and closing the business, if the employer requires them to be there.
Learn more about work place rights and responsibilities by visiting the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website or calling them on 13 13 94.Learn more about workplace rights and obligations by visiting the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website or signing up to My account to get help and information tailored for you.