Know your work rights

Many young people gain employment, and this is a great way for them to acquire employability skills that are transferable across different contexts. As it is likely to be their first ongoing work experience, young people are not able to make comparisons across settings and may be unsure of their entitlements in the workplace. It is important to assist young people to know their rights in the workforce to eliminate instances of discrimination and unfair treatment at work. Supporting them to find and apply information about wages, discrimination and unfair dismissal, and how to seek help at work, will assist them to feel safe and positive in the workplace.

Year Level



5 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Take-away activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management

Learning Intention

Students will learn about their rights at work and ways to seek help.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • investigate how much they should be paid
  • identify discrimination in the workplace
  • understand unfair dismissal from work
  • seek help if they are being treated unfairly or are discriminated against in the workplace

Instructions 5 minutes

Explain to students that they are at an age when they have, or may soon have, their first job.

These tools will assist students to understand their rights in the workplace, and to seek help for workplace discrimination and unfair treatment.

  1. Provide access to the article ‘What are my rights at work?’.
  2. Read this scenario to students:
    Sally worked in a café. She had asked her employer not to roster her on shifts during exam time. Her employer rostered her on during exam time and when Sally asked them in advance to change the roster, they refused. Sally didn’t show up for her shift and was fired from her job.
  3. Ask students to use the article to answer these questions:
    • How much should Sally be paid for her regular shifts?
    • Has Sally been discriminated against in the workplace?
    • Was Sally unfairly dismissed?
    • How should Sally seek help with this issue?


It is important that students understand their rights in the workplace so that they feel safe. By making sure they know where to find reliable information, they will know what to do if they are ever in a situation where they are unsure, stressed or worried.