Choices! What Choices? (Part 2)

5 June 2007

I recently wrote that young people in particular would be dreadfully affected by our new Work Choices legislation.  They don’t have any negotiating powers and their employment conditions can now be at the whim of sometimes unscrupulous employers.

But today I learnt that some employers can go even lower than exploiting young people looking for their first jobs. 

A 15 year old school student I know is shortly to spend a week doing work experience with a local professional firm.  For some reason they have sent him a contract, despite the fact that his week’s work is unpaid.  This states that his working hours will be from 8.15am to 5.00pm and that he will not be expected to take a break during this time!!  This apparently is the document they send to all new employees, which is harsh enough, but to a young man looking around to see what sort of work he’d like to do,  I find it despicable. 

And I find even more unacceptable that this would appear to be legal.



  1. Do folks in your country have extremely large bladders? That sort of treatment is illegal in ours.

  2. Doesn’t surprise me in the least, unfortunately 😦

    My son has worked at a small local shop for over 3 years, since he was 15. Two months ago his boss suddenly sacked him, gave no reason, and wouldn’t discuss it. He didn’t even do it honourably – he left a Voice Mail message on MY mobile phone asking me to tell my son that he was no longer working there. When my husband called to find out what was going on, this bloke said he’d seen our son ‘doing something’ and he could ‘no longer trust him’. The boss completely refused to say what ‘it’ was, and our son still doesn’t know what he’s supposed to have done.

    Our theory is 1) the boss is an unstable gutless b****rd, and 2) our son turned 18 (thus requiring higher rates of pay).

  3. I’m shocked with what I’m reading, including Jejune’s comment. I knew the new laws weren’t great but until you start to hear these stories you don’t really realise how terrible. Imagine 3 years of loyalty ending with a voice mail to your parent. That’s ridiculous.

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