Educating Young Workers | Ep. 4 When Is Unpaid Work OK?
Episode four: When is unpaid work okay? When is unpaid work o… Excuse me where are my manners? Hello. How are you? You
good? Great. When is unpaid work okay and when is it
not okay? We all know the perks of working personal fulfilment, obviously.
But also getting paid, having money for rent, being able to
afford to live. The list goes on. But young people are increasingly taking on
unpaid work often with the hope of gaining experience to get their foot in
the door so here’s some info about three common types of unpaid work that will
help protect you and your eager feet. Unpaid trial shifts. Unpaid trials are one
thing but filling in at a short-staffed cafe without getting paid is another.
Unpaid trials are a chance to demonstrate your skills and show you’re
suitable for the role, depending on the job they should only go for between one
hour and one shift. Best to ask how long you’re needed before you start otherwise
you might end up working an unpaid trial shift that goes on for way too long. I
know a guy who once did a trial shift that lasted for 38 years. Unpaid internships. Internships are really common and can be super beneficial but
is it okay for an internship to be unpaid?
A legit unpaid internship is when you’re working somewhere as part of a course
requirement where you get credit for that experience. Like hospital placements
for doctors, school placements for teachers or burning house placements for
firefighters. There are other arrangements where it’s okay too. Like if
you’re receiving benefits from the government while doing a work placement
or internship under a Commonwealth employment program or like the work
experience that you do during school. If your unpaid internship has nothing to do
with your study schooling or government program then it should be about you
developing skills and getting experience. Not just doing the menial work that an
employee usually does because if you are you should probably be paid like an
employee so you can buy fancy employee socks for your fancy feet. Volunteering. Volunteering is like the sister of interning. Kind of like Kendall
and Kylie Jenner. Similar but so different you know. You see one’s a bit
taller than the other. Loads of organizations exist off the energy and
passion of young people who volunteer and it can give you an awesome
opportunity to contribute to your community and build your skills. But
volunteering is exactly that. Voluntary. It’s up to you how much time you want to
put in and you shouldn’t be under any obligation to perform work that a paid
employee does. A volunteer should always get a position description to start off
on the right foot by setting up a meeting with your volunteer coordinator
or HR person to talk through what the expectations are. So where to from here? Remember if you start to feel like something’s not quite right it’s best to
address the situation as soon as possible and remember that the Fair Work
Ombudsman is there if you need them. Check out the Fair Work website for more
information When is unpaid work okay? Sometimes, is the answer.