Employees can enforce their entitlements through Fair Work Australia or through the courts. There are protective laws covering unpaid wages, unfair dismissal, redundancy, the right to enforce workplace rights and belonging to a union, and bullying.


Madeleine Doull

Solicitor, Lander & Rogers

Ian Yap

Solicitor, Lander & Rogers

Protection for your rights at work: Contacts

Employment and COVID-19

The most reliable source of COVID-19 related employment information for employees is the Fair Work Ombudsman website (https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au). See also ‘Fair Work Ombudsman’, below.

Trade Unions

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)
Level 4, 365 Queen Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 486 466
Email: help@actu.org.au
Web: www.actu.org.au

Victorian Trades Hall Council
Ground floor, Old Building, Trades Hall, 54 Victoria Street, Carlton South Vic 3053
Tel: 9659 3511
Email: info@vthc.org.au
Web: www.weareunion.org.au

General employment problems

Level 10, 21 Victoria Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 9662 1933; 1800 331 617 (country callers)
Email: jobwatch@jobwatch.org.au
Web: http://jobwatch.org.au

JobWatch is an employment rights legal centre that provides a free and confidential information and referral service to Victorian workers about their rights at work.

Unemployment schemes

There are many schemes that help those who are unemployed and give subsidies to employers to take on new staff. Some schemes provide formal skills training, usually with a training wage lower than the normal applicable wage. For details of some schemes, see Chapter 5.1: Dealing with social security. 

Further information can be obtained from:

Tel (employment services): 13 28 50
Web: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/centrelink

Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Tel: 1300 566 046
Web: https://www.dese.gov.au

Australian Government Department of Social Services
Tel: 1300 653 227
Web: www.dss.gov.au

Sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace

Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)
Tel (general enquiries): 1300 369 711
Tel (national information service): 1300 656 419
Email: infoservice@humanrights.gov.au
Web: https://humanrights.gov.au

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC)
Level 3, 204 Lygon Street, Carlton Vic 3053
Tel: 1300 292 153
Email: enquiries@veohrc.vic.gov.au
Web: www.humanrights.vic.gov.au

Wage rates, employment entitlements and unfair dismissals

Fair Work Commission
Victorian office:
Level 4, 11 Exhibition Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 1300 799 675
Tel (out of hours emergency): 0438 244 996
Email: melbourne@fwc.gov.au
Web: www.fwc.gov.au

Fair Work Ombudsman
Melbourne office:
Level 12, 414 La Trobe Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 13 13 94
Web: www.fairwork.gov.au

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Rights, activism and fair treatment at work