APESMA has launched a national education program designed to provide students, graduates and women with clear, useful information about their workplace rights and obligations.
The program comes as a result of research undertaken by the Fair Work Ombudsman that showed that young workers and women often did not have information on workplace issues that they commonly experienced.
APESMA’s chief executive officer Chris Walton said that the value of this program was that it addressed the needs of workers who often found themselves in complex and unfamiliar situations.
“Young people often do not know their workplace rights and obligations. This program aims to educate them while they are still students, so that they can start their careers aware and informed,” Mr Walton said.
The program also addresses workplace issues faced by women and follows findings in APESMA’s 2010 “Women in Professions” survey that found maternity leave, sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination were significant issues in the working lives of women.
“This program dispels a lot of myths. It gives clear, relevant and useful information in what can often be complex areas of workplace relations,” Mr Walton said.
Designed as a series of fourteen fact sheets, the program defines rights and obligations, identifies action that can be taken in different situations and provides case study examples for a range of workplace issues. To appeal to the program’s audience, each fact sheet includes a specially designed “worker ant” (pictured right) to highlight important elements covered in the program.
Topics covered by the program include: Casual employment; Work experience; Parental leave; Personal and annual leave; Remuneration; Public Holidays; OH&S; Awards; National Employment Standards; Leaving your job; Bullying and harassment; Unfair dismissal; Discrimination and Redundancy.
The program will be rolled out progressively to university students via special lectures and printed materials in 2011. Additionally, the program will be distributed via the APESMA website, where individual fact sheets can be identified and downloaded to provide guidance as needed.
This program has been funded through a Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) initiative to produce educational materials on the Fair Work Act 2009.