Teenagers and earning - rights and responsibilities

Young people get excited about having their first job, and finally earning their own income. This means independence and a sense of achievement, but also being across the rights and responsibilities of being an employee.



  • The maximum hours a full-time worker should work per week is 38 hours plus reasonable additional hours.
  • The annual leave entitlement for full time workers is four weeks paid leave each year with an additional week for shift workers plus any additional leave entitlements.
  • Different types of leave available include parental leave; annual leave; personal carer/compassionate leave; community services leave; long service leave and public holidays.
  • Employees have protected rights, which include workplace rights, taking part or not taking part in industrial action and being free from discrimination.
  • Employees need to complete a number of forms relating totaxation, superannuation, bank details, and confidentiality. They may also be asked to sign an employment contract.  

Although most employers do the right thing, some do not.  Check the FairWork website for some examples. Additionally, young people may become overwhelmed with the amount of new information when they first start earning. They should be encouraged not to sign documents until they have time to discuss them with their parents or carers.

Check out Operational Financial Literacy Module 2, Income – where does it come from? for a range of great teaching and learning resources on this important topic.

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