Fair Work Ombudsman’s Report Information

 

Invitation to comment

The FWO seeks feedback on some draft fact sheet resources being prepared by them.

Letter to ACEN inviting feedback (details of how and when). Feedback requested by November 22, 2013.

FWO – General Unpaid Work draft fact sheet

FWO – Vocational Placements draft fact sheet

Industry Specific Fact Sheet – Accommodation, Café and Restaurants – Draft

Industry Specific Fact Sheet – Hair and Beauty – Draft

Industry Specific Fact Sheet – Print and Broadcast Media – Draft

Industry Specific Fact Sheet – Professional Services (including Legal) – Draft

ACEN members played an active role in assisting the research undertaken for the report ‘Experience or Exploitation: The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia’.

ACEN subsequently organised a national video hook-up for the authors (Profs Rosemary Owens and Andrew Stewart) to outline the findings and recommendations to ACEN members which many of you will have attended. The attached resources form a part of the recommendations to provide more guidance to the sector in relation to issues relating to WIL and FWA. The FWO is seeking your input. This can be done by either contacting the FWO individually or organising a seminar at your university.

The contact details for Adam Rogers, Assistant Director – Education, Education & Major Employers, Fair Work Ombudsman are provided in the letter.

Fair Work Ombudsman’s Report

Released February 2013

Fair Work Ombudsman's Report 'The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia: Experience or Exploitation?'The Report is titled ‘The nature and prevalence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia. Experience or Exploitation’ by Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens of Adelaide University.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has said they will act to implement the recommendations outlined.

ACEN has actively supported this research  and thanks to  the  many ACEN members who contributed by completing the survey distributed through ACEN. The ACEN National Executive will consider the report and would welcome your comments.

Join the discussion

(The ACEN LinkedIn is a member-only site. If your institution is a member, you’re entitled to join ACEN and then register for ACEN LinkedIn. Or join ACEN as an individual).

Key report findings

The report found that a growing number of businesses are using unpaid work schemes as an alternative to hiring paid staff.

The research acknowledges the importance and legitimacy of unpaid work within formal vocational placements. It also found that:

  • employers want clarification about the legitimacy and legality of unpaid work
  • young people and migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to being exploited
  • unpaid work is most common in competitive industries with an oversupply of qualified graduates.

Report recommendations and responses

The report makes 6 recommendations that we will work to implement.

  • Better define unpaid work experience.
  • Expand guidance and education activities.
  • Conduct targeted campaigns in key industries.
  • Instigate legal action before relevant courts where appropriate.
  • Improve liaison with relevant government agencies.
  • Initiate comprehensive engagement with key stakeholders representing employers and employees, with an emphasis on vulnerable workers (young people and migrant workers).

Video of presentation to ACEN

Here’s the video of the recent presentation by Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens of Adelaide University, authors of ‘The nature and prevalence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia: Experience or Exploitation’.

IMPORTANT: Use the download button on the Dropbox site to get the full video.

FWO infographic issues and responses

This graphic summarises the issues around unpaid work arrangements in Australia.This graphic summarises the issues around unpaid work arrangements in Australia. Produced by the Fair Work Ombudsman, this graphic summarises the issues and recommendations identified in the report ‘Experience or Exploitation?’ around unpaid work arrangements in Australia and outlines the Fair Work Ombudsman’s responses.

Enlargement

FWO Report – authors speak to ACEN

Professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens of Adelaide University, authors of ‘The nature and prevalence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial periods in Australia: Experience or Exploitation’, spoke to ACEN members at RMIT on March 1, 2013. That event was also linked to fourteen ACEN member university campuses in Australia (and one in Vietnam!).

Professors Stewart and Owens have generously made their slides available to ACEN.

Presentation slides in PowerPoint

Presentation slides in PDF

UK Code of Practice

The presentation refers to a 2011 UK document ‘Common Best Practice Code for High-Quality Internships’.

 

 

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