Fight For Your Rights! Avoiding Financial Exploitation

by Mike on June 29, 2017

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You work hard for a living. Chances are, you always have. But there’s always someone out there trying to get the better of you for the sake of their own profit. It’s so important that you know your rights when it comes to finances. Otherwise, people will try to exploit you and you will end up paying the price, while they’re left smiling with extra cash that should really be yours. Here are a few things to watch out for in the workplace to ensure that you’re always being treated fairly and appropriately.

Know The Minimum Wage

Minimum wage is an employee’s base rate for the hours they’ve worked. Legally, workers cannot be paid less than the minimum wage set in their country, even if they make an agreement with their employer. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that every member of staff receives the minimum wage for their staff. If they don’t, they can be held responsible for exploitation and prosecuted. Once a year, the Fair Work Commission (otherwise known as the FWC) meet to analyze the amount that individuals need to survive. Once they have worked out the minimum that people need to live a decent lifestyle, they’ll set the minimum wage and this must be adhered to. In Australia, the current minimum wage is $17.70 per hour. This works out to $672.20 a week. So if you’re currently earning less than this, confront your employer. If they refuse to raise your wage, report it. Remember to keep an eye on the minimum wage. It is usually confirmed on the first of July each year. Know exactly what you are entitled to!

Know Your Work’s Worth

If you are in a more qualified position, you should know how much competitor companies are paying for the work that you provide. If your employer seems to be slacking, tell them. You can always apply for work with another company and it is likely that if you say you will leave for another better-paid position, your employer may increase your wages to keep you as part of their company. Know the worth of your work and don’t settle for less.

Don’t Ignore Negligence

Every year, hundreds and maybe even thousands of people are injured in the workplace due to negligence on the part of their employers. This can result in them having to take time off to recover and this costs them. They may slip into debt, lose wages or even lose their job. So, if you’ve been injured at work, through no fault of your own, don’t hide away in silence. Contact an injury lawyer, who will be able to read through your case and determine whether you are entitled to some form of compensation. If you are, run with it. You could receive a payout that ensures you have enough to survive while you recover. It is also more likely that your employer will then take the proper measures and precautions to ensure that the workplace is safer for everyone. Incidents like the one you have experienced will be less likely to happen again, to you or your co-workers.

Think For the Future

You won’t be able to work forever, so it’s important that you think for the future. What are you going to do when you retire and no longer have a stable income filtering into your bank account every month? You may like to put some savings aside, but these should be for the added extras that you may want to enjoy your retirement in extra comfort. If you are over 65 and your assets are below the limits set by the Australian Department of Human Services, you will be entitled to a state pension. This is a minimum amount that will tide you over during your old age. But who wants to live on the minimum baseline? You’ve worked hard for years and should be rewarded, not struggling with everyday essentials. Set up a pension scheme with your employer. This could work in a way that a small amount of your wages each month is put away and given back to you at the end of your employment. Alternatively, some employers may be willing to contribute a small salary that continues once you’ve retired from their business.

Fight Discrimination

It’s a shame that this topic still has to be highlighted, but discrimination still proliferates in the workplace. Don’t let this happen, whether it’s directed towards you or anyone else. Discrimination can deeply affect an individual’s wellbeing and can also affect the amount that people earn or whether they are even employed in the first place. Under the Fair Work Act of 2009, it is illegal to take adverse action against a previous employee, current employee or potential future employee based on their race, sex, sexual preference, origin, age, physical or mental disability, religion, pregnancy, family or carer commitments, social origin, national extraction, marital or relationship status or political opinion. Pretty long list, isn’t it? But if you ever feel that you are experiencing prejudice or discrimination due to any of these things, it is important to report it to the relevant authorities. Note any comments, actions or behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable so that you can relay examples of different negative things that have happened to you. Relevant things to mention are if you have experienced dismissal, differentiations in your terms of employment, alteration of position, or any form of a penalty due to any of the personal circumstances listed above.

Recognize Misrepresentation

If you notice that your employer is misrepresented some form of information, take action! This could vary. One example of misrepresentation is knowingly giving false information about a person’s wage, job roles or obligation to tell other employees about personal circumstances. If you want to know where you stand regarding your employment in comparison to your co-workers, you should be able to know. You have the right to know that you are being treated in the same way as others. Equality of position is important. If you are taking on the same position as someone else, your roles, responsibilities, and pay should be equal.


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