Know your rights: understanding employment law

Date: Nov 16, 2012

Many people miss out on being reimbursed for wrongs done to them because they were not aware of their rights in a certain situation.

For example, some people are injured at work and fail to realise that they could have claimed compensation. The same thing goes for those harmed in car and motorbike accidents, public liability cases, medical negligence situations and more.

The morale of the story is therefore to know your rights. Unless you are aware of your rights, you cannot ensure that you are being treated fairly by people.

This is especially important when it comes to employment. Every day the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) processes complaints from employees who feel as though they have been mistreated in the workplace.

The FWO regularly investigate noncompliant employers that have underpaid their staff the minimum wage or conducted discriminatory behaviour in the work environment, to name a few examples.

It is important that workers are aware that they may be able to apply for compensation in these circumstances.

One of the best ways to go about understanding your rights inside out is by learning all about your employer’s obligations.

That way you can see if they are meeting their obligations or not. In other words, get to know all aspects of employment law as if you were an employer yourself.

Fortunately this is reasonably easy to do, as the FWO provides many free and informative resources on its website.

The FWO have recently released a Fair Work Handbook which is available for free download, therefore easily accessible by everyone.

Although this is targeted at employers it contains some valuable information for employees about their rights.

“The Fair Work Handbook helps employers to understand their obligation and how to apply them within their business,” FWO executive director for education and major employers Lynda McAlary-Smith said in a statement.

“It can also assist employers and managers in dealing with employee enquiries about workplace laws and will help in resolving any issues that arise.”

Ms McAlary would like to see people using this new Handbook in conjunction with the other resources available on the FWO site.

The FWO regularly take calls from both employers and employees – you can contact the department on the infoline 13 13 94.

If you are ever the victim of mistreatment in the workplace then please do not hesitate to speak to lawyers for compensation.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.