Australian laws say your boss must do all they can to make sure your job does not hurt you or make you sick. This law is called work health and safety (WHS) or occupational health and safety (OHS).
The law also says your boss must have insurance for you in case you get hurt at work. This is called workers’ compensation.
Work health and safety
Work health and safety laws exist to keep you safe at work. Safety is an important part of working in Australia. You and your boss both have WHS responsibilities.
Workers' compensation covers all workers in Australia, even if you are on a temporary visa.
If you have medical bills or can’t work because of a work-related illness or injury, workers’ compensation can:
pay for medical treatment
pay your wage until you get back to work
Remember to ask your boss about this as soon as possible and fill in any forms you need to apply for workers’ compensation.
Your work should be free from workplace bullying.
Bullying is when someone says or does something to you that frightens or humiliates you, for example:
laughing at you
calling you unkind names
pushing into you
breaking your things
No one should ever bully you at work. If this happens to you, talk to your boss or to another worker and tell them you want it to stop.
If it doesn’t stop, you can talk to someone at the:
regulator in the state or territory where you are working
If you don’t understand something at work
If you are not sure about how to do something – even if someone asks you to do it – ask for help.
Don’t be afraid to ask your boss or a more experienced worker to help you.
Where to go for help
If your boss is not in charge of your pay or conditions
Sometimes the boss at work is not the person who pays you. For example, if you work through a labour hire agency, they will pay you but someone else is in charge at work.
If you don’t want to talk to the boss at work, you can talk to the labour hire agency about your WHS.
There should be a person at work who can help you with questions about WHS. Find out who this is and how to contact them.
Fair pay and conditions
In Australia, there are minimum wages and working conditions.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is a government office that helps bosses and workers understand their rights and responsibilities at work. It can also help you find out how much your pay should be.
The Fair Work Ombudsman can also investigate a case if someone has broken workplace laws.
Call the Fair Work Ombudsman office: 13 13 94