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Businesses under fire after undercutting juniors

Businesses under fire after undercutting juniors

Dalby employers are being warned to ensure they are meeting their employer obligations under the Fair Work Act when it comes to junior staff. With many school aged and recently graduated students looking for casual or permanent positions, employers are being urged to check their Modern Award, minimum wage and superannuation requirements.

In latest ABS survey of employee earnings and hours, it found that those aged 17 years and under earned an average of $152.40 per week, while those in the 18-20 years bracket averaged $443.90 a week.*

BMO Human Resources Advisor Barry Jordan said businesses were leaving themselves at risk of hefty fines and/or court action by not complying with their responsibilities as an employer.

“There are many cases of employers taking advantage of their junior staff like a recent case in which an employer misled three young people into unpaid work schemes as a source of free labour.

“Employers need to value their young employees for a variety of reasons.  Young workers can be vulnerable and need guidance and support, which can shape their attitude to work and their future. They can bring enthusiasm and ideas and become loyal, helping form the business’ future.” Mr Jordan said.

Reports show that 45% of permanent full-time non-managerial employees are paid under an individual flexibility arrangement, not the award rate.* And while many employers are doing the right thing paying above the award rate through their individual flexibility agreement there are still a few not complying with the laws.

Mr Jordan urged employers to remember that what you do now can come back to burn you later.

“It’s not only the fines and court action which will harm the business, but also the bad reputation along with downturn in recruitment and retention especially in a small town like Dalby,” Mr Jordan said.

*Sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014 Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (EEH). www.abs.gov.au

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