Young people are most at risk of experiencing exploitation or harassment in their workplaces. An expert explains how to protect your rights.
Young workers are less and less willing to take toxic behavior out of their workplace – but what happens when you’re a Christmas casual and don’t have much of a stretch to report bad behavior?
recent report It was found that the well-being of people aged 15 to 24 is 18 percent lower than that of the average employed person. When you narrow that same group down to people who identify as LGBTQIA+, it’s 28 percent less.
Why? This is not laziness or possessiveness, as the older generations would have believed. It’s a mix of very legitimate issues, such as Covid-19 and related lockdowns affecting business sectors that are primarily driven by young people, wage rates that don’t match the rising cost of living, and a There is a growing sense that – shock, horror – toxic workplaces should not exist and do not deserve your loyalty.
Toxic are those, especially the retail sector – which includes supermarkets and fast food retailers.
a 2019 Australian Human Rights Commission Report found that retail and fast food had the highest prevalence of workplace sexual harassment, and a third of employees aged 15 to 17 reported experience of sexual harassment.
Similarly, Griffith University survey On exploitation and harassment of youth in the workplace.
More than half of the respondents reported economic exploitation at their first job – including wrong pay and not being allowed a fair break. A full 49.1 percent said that verbal harassment was a common experience and 32.1 percent were exposed to unsafe working conditions. About a third experienced incidents of workplace bullying at their first job.
Despite all this (and more), almost a quarter of respondents reported these incidents during their first job.
It’s also worth noting that a full 84 percent of respondents had a first job in retail or hospitality, the industries that typically hire Christmas casuals.
“Young people start telling us that places like schools may be safe, but their workplaces are not,” says Natalie Siegel-Brown, senior counselor at . child wise,
“In our view, retailers, fast food outlets and supermarkets all lack the necessary protections for young employees. Employers tend to forget that young people have little power and self-advocacy tools at their disposal.”
how to protect yourself
Siegel-Brown explained, “Being a young person in a workplace designed for adults can often mean when stuff happens to you, you have no idea you have a right to complain, or where to turn.”
“The more we looked at it, the more anecdotal evidence we found that young people are often experiencing abuse at work, with no complaints avenues and clumsy adult whistleblower procedures,” she continued. Some human resources were lost in the systems.”
While a lot of youth are taking advantage of this opportunity Quit Jobs That Abuse ThemNot everyone has that luxury.
Speaking about workplace issues is always difficult, especially when you are new to the world of employment. It gets tough again when you’re one of the Christmas casuals we’ve hired for a few months every year.
When you’re desperate to win one of the few promised opportunities for long-term employment, and you haven’t been in the workplace long enough to understand the procedures, the situation is rampant for poor treatment and toxic behavior.
We asked Siegel-Brown what young people should do to protect themselves—in any role, but especially as a Christmas casual:
What should young people do if they face any problems in these roles?
Don’t think that just because you’re the youngest person in the workplace, you don’t have a right to complain. Your employer has an obligation to protect you.
They will have whistleblower policies in place, and importantly, a code of conduct that explains your rights. The code of conduct will tell you what standard of behavior you should expect from your co-workers or manager. If you feel that this has not been completed in any way, there will be a central number that you can call.
I know it’s scary because you have to work with these people, but a good employer should have procedures in place to protect your employment and to make sure you get the same shift as these people when addressing an employer. I will not have to work. Issue.
It’s really important to remember that just because you’ve complained, it’s illegal for you to lose a shift or job.
What can you do if your complaint is not taken seriously?
A further conversation with their employer to help them understand them better can sometimes help. Where you feel that it hasn’t helped, or that your safety may be further compromised (remember, safety isn’t just your physical security but your psychological safety as well), there are several things you can do.
First, most large employers (such as large supermarkets, retail or fast food chains) will have what we call an ‘escalation pathway’. That is, the ability to complain to someone higher up in the company when you feel the person above you didn’t take it seriously. Again, the way your complaint is addressed should be contained in the organization’s ‘complaint policy’.
However, if none of these mechanisms are in place, the ‘Fair Work Ombudsman’ is an independent organization that supports you on such issues. They also have the right to intervene.
What can you do if you think you have lost your job because of speaking up?
Remember, it is illegal to fire you just because you made a complaint. Fair Work law in Australia is designed to protect you here. it’s a good idea to call it fair action ombudsman In this case, or visit your local community legal service.