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Fact Sheets about a number of employment law issues

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Employment Scams

In this Fact Sheet, we look at a common ‘scam’ in employment – misleading employment advertising. Ads may mislead you about the availability, nature and terms or conditions of employment. They may appear in newspapers, be advertised on social media, or sent directly to you as an unsolicited text message.

Ads can be misleading because:

  • they simply don’t have enough information; or
  • they are written to deliberately mislead you, because they want to hide from you what the job really is; or to make you think there’s a job when there isn’t.

It is unlawful for job ads to include pay rates that are less than minimum entitlements – for instance, that offer less than minimum wage, or less than the relevant Modern Award or Enterprise Agreement pay rate. These ads can be reported to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Misleading job and business opportunity ads are unlawful under the Australian Consumer Law. They should be reported to the relevant authorities:

  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) which administers the Competition and Consumer Act; and
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria; or
  • Office of Fair Trading – Queensland; or
  • Consumer, Building and Occupational Services – Tasmania.

You should always find out more information from the employer. For example, you should find out about:

  • the employment status (i.e. would you be a permanent/casual/fixed term employee? Will your hours be full time or part-time? Alternatively, will you be an independent contractor?)
  • what type of work you would have to do (i.e. what are your duties)?
  • if you would be covered by a Modern Award, Enterprise Agreement or an employment contract
  • how much, when, and how you would be paid
  • whether the gross pay includes or excludes superannuation
  • where the employer operates from, etc.

You should receive direct answers to your questions. If the employer is avoiding answering any of these questions, then take this as a warning sign.

Things to watch out for

  1. Jobs that aren’t real jobs
  2. Misleading income claims
  3. Training courses disguised as employment
  4. Contracting jobs disguised as employment
  5. ‘Commissin only’ jobs
  6. An instant interview

For further support

More detail can be found in the Fact Sheet which you should download.

Call our Telephone Information Service on Melbourne Metro (03) 9662 1933 or Regional Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania on 1800 331 617.

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