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Working in Australia: What you need to know

Amanda Yap

Fri Sep 30 2011


THE Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a new range of translated resources to help people from diverse cultural backgrounds understand Australia’s Fair Work system.

With assistance by Cultural Partners Australia (CPA), the new campaign targets employees of non-English speaking backgrounds.

Information explaining the basic pay and conditions workers are entitled to receive, and how people should be treated at work, has been translated into Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Dari, Farsi, IndonesiaKhmer, Korean, Serbian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese.

“Knowing about Australia’s workplace laws is especially important for people of diverse cultural backgrounds, where these laws may be different in their home country,” said the Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson.

In addition, the FWO has created a total number of 14 in-language videos entitled Working in Australia – What you need to know, which detail basic information about how Fair Work laws protect workers, and where people can obtain help and advice about their work situation.

Mr Wilson said the significant message is that all people working in Australia – including international students – have basic entitlements, including the right to minimum pay and conditions of employment, “regardless of how long you’re staying in Australia”.

Mr Wilson also encouraged people to visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website to access information in their language.

“Often issues come up at work because of a simple mistake or a breakdown in communication,” Mr Wilson said.

“Most problems are easy to fix so I encourage workers to talk to their employers if they have a question about their job.

“Every worker’s conditions and circumstances are different but the most important reminder is that it is okay for you to speak up, ask questions and seek help.”

Fair Work is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively, contact the Fair work Infoline on 13 13 94. If language assistance is required, people are encouraged to ring the free Translation and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 13 14 50.