Some 10% of unpaid work experience appears to be unlawful, with more than half a million Australians falling victim to it in the past five years, according to new university analysis presented at an IR academics conference in Canberra today.
The FWO will enlist local employer groups in a three-month auditing blitz of more than 400 businesses in regions where workers are making "persistent" requests for assistance, including Perth, Adelaide and Dandenong.
In a lucrative Christmas/New Year period for the Commonwealth's coffers, the Federal Circuit Court has handed down penalties amounting to more than $580,000 in eight separate cases brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman against companies and their directors for breaches of the Fair Work Act.
Unions NSW has called for a code of practice on unpaid work while an advocacy body wants Australia to import the US test on whether unpaid internships are legal, in response to the NSW Government's moves to promote volunteering.
Giving teenage employees free and discounted pizzas and soft drink instead of wages – a practice belonging "in the dark ages rather than twenty first century Australia" – has cost a pizza franchise operator $335,000 in fines.