Author

Bianca Dearing

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A recent study undertaken by UTS, QUT and the University of Adelaide reviewed the prevalence of unpaid work placements within the current Australian labour market. The study, reported in ‘Unpaid Work Experience in Australia: Prevalence, nature and impact'[i], revealed that almost 60% of respondents aged 18-29 and over 25% of respondents aged 30-64 had participated in at least one episode of unpaid work experience in the last five years with 60% agreeing that an unpaid…

The Fair Work Amendment Act 2015 (Cth) (the Act) commenced on 27 November 2015, introducing changes to unpaid parental leave arrangements, and requirements for greenfields agreements and protected action ballot orders. Requests for extended unpaid parental leave period An employee has the right to request up to an additional 12 months’ unpaid parental leave from their employer (subject to certain requirements) after the employee has taken an initial 12 months’ unpaid leave. An employer may…

In today’s workplace, the right to flexibility at work is not only protected by both federal and state laws, but notions such as “flexible work practices” and “work – life balance” are commonly pitched by employees in their increasing requests for flexible working arrangements. As a general rule, employers can only reject an employee’s request for flexible working arrangements on “reasonable business grounds”, which is now helpfully defined in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)…

Unpaid work arrangements (often called “internships” or “work experience”) have received some attention in recent years. In 2013, Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens from the Adelaide University Law School released a report regarding the significant numbers of workers being asked to undertake “unpaid trials”, and businesses increasingly using unpaid interns to perform work normally reserved for paid employees. Following on from this report, the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) recent successful prosecution of an organisation…