If You’re Young and Work In Hospitality, You Need To Read This.

If You’re Young and Work In Hospitality, You Need To Read This.

Hospo worker? Here’s what you need to know so you don’t get ripped off.

  1. Pay

Say it loud for the people in the back… “UNDERPAYMENT” IS THEFT. Whether your boss is shaving a few dollars off your base rate, your penalty rates go “missing”, or your boss has creative “rules” about which shifts you get paid for, you can’t let them get away with it. Give the Young Workers Centre a call, and we’ll help you come up with a plan.

You can also look up how much you should be paid, depending on your age and the job you’re doing. Take a look at the pay guide from Fair Work


  1. Breaks

There’s an important reason we don’t just work 12 hours without stopping – it’s really bad for our physical and mental health! You need time to stretch or sit down, have a drink and something to eat.

Under the Hospitality Industry Award (which basically sets out the minimum standards for your industry), employees (other than casuals) have to get a minimum break of 10 hours between finishing work on one day and starting work the next day.

What about taking time out? A rest break is a 20 minute paid break that counts as time worked. A meal break is a 30 minute unpaid break that doesn’t count as time worked. If you’re working between 5-6 hours, the request for an unpaid meal break must be in writing.

Hope you’re good at math! An employee gets the following number of breaks, depending on the hours worked:

Fair Work Ombudsman, Feb 2017

Fair Work Ombudsman, Feb 2017

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Snoozy needs a break

  1. Fully Sick leave

Don’t come to work sick. You will spread your gross germs around, make everyone else sick (including customers!) and you’ll be pretty useless anyway. Australians recognise that it’s in all our best interests if you STAY THE HECK HOME while you’re unwell, and that’s why you’ve got the option of paid sick leave if you’re employed on a full time or part time basis.

If you’re employed on a casual basis, you’re entitled to unpaid sick leave. You are supposed to subsist during your illness on all the lavish savings you’ve accrued from your extra four-bucks-fifty-five-an-hour in casual loading. This is clearly problematic, and a lot of young casuals are forced to attend work sick out of economic necessity.

But no matter how you’re employed, your boss can’t fire you or punish you for taking time off work when you’re sick. Need some more info? Check out our sick leave rundown here!

films mean girls sick

  1. Trials

Unpaid trials are illegal. It’s totally normal for your future employer to want to see what you can do before you’re hired – but that doesn’t mean you should work a whole shift for free. Legally, an “unpaid trial” should only last long enough for you to demonstrate necessary skills like coffee making or cash handling.

The Daily Dot nope hillary clinton debate democrat

Exploiting young people who desperately need a job for free labour isn’t cool – and it will continue unless we all stand up together to put a stop to it. Give us a call if something seems off when you next go for a job.

All information in this article is based off the Hospitality Industry General Award (2010), which outlines the minimum standards for hospitality workers – if these basic entitlements seem super fancy to you, you should definitely give the Young Workers Centre a call.

And if you like the idea of hospo workers standing up together for a fair deal, Good news! Your union is United Voice and they are totally your type of people.

Want to find out more about your working rights?

Check out the Young Workers Centre